I recently attended a Taronga Teachers Association event to get a sneak peek at the new enclosure for the Ring-tailed Lemur. The new enclosure allows visitors to walk through the lemur enclosure. At this stage it is not clear how tightly it will be regulated, but zoo volunteers will be ensuring everything runs smoothly. The 8 male lemurs in the enclosure are various ages and from two separate groups. The lemurs have been in their enclosure since November and are still settling in and developing social relationships. Visitors are able to explore a rainforest trail at one end of the enclosure, with interpretive messages, interactive displays, and water play.
To support student learning, Taronga are preparing a suite of resources based around the relationship of Ring-tailed Lemurs with their environment. This resources are intended for primary students.
Read more about the Lemurs at Taronga.
This week saw the release of a new app for Taronga Zoo called Taronga Zoo - Wild Australia designed in collaboration with the Department of Education and Communities. This is aimed at primary students and allows them to learn about a range of Australian animals. You can choose whether you are at Taronga Zoo, Western Plains Zoo or not at a zoo at all. The app uses a map of the zoo as a basis (whichever one you've chosen, or Taronga if you are not at a zoo), in particular the Australian Animals section. Students can choose to focus on the emu, koala, platypus, kangaroo, wombat or echidna. After they have chosen an animal they can examine, choose or take their own photographs, select facts about the animal (true or false), watch videos, write their own facts, drag the animals onto its feeding area, or use the binoculars to get a closer look at the animal. All the activities culminate in the creation of a poster about the animal that can then be emailed to the student. This work is the follow up of the Rainforest Heroes app also created by a great team of people from what was formerly NSW CLIC.
Read about Rainforest Heroes.
In 2014 the Taronga Teachers Association will be running a number of events. They will be running morning and twilight walks with behind the scenes access to certain enclosures, an Animals in Schools Workshop, Sustainability Action Plan Workshop, Aboriginal Education Day Workshop, and an Implementing a Project in-situ Workshop.
Read about Taronga Teachers Association.