Fact sheet

The impact of animal poo on our waterways

This article (and video) explains the impact animal poo has on our waterways and makes some interesting  comparisons between the impact of native animal poo and exotic animal poo.  The article is quite detailed but information can be extracted for younger students.  The video is short and simple.

  • Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Video/Audio, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

Kamarooka Saltland Restoration project fact sheet

This fact sheet will be useful for secondary students to understand the positive impact that strategic revegetation on saline land can make to lower the watertable.  Northern United Forestry Group’s Kamarooka Saltland Restoration project site is 30km north of Bendigo.

More information about the project can be found here and excursions can be organised by emailing nufg@nufg.org.au

  • Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Salinity, Teacher, Upper Secondary,
  • North Central CMA,

Platypus and Litter fact sheet

A simple fact sheet highlighting the horrific facts about litter and platypus and the good news of how we can help.

  • Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary,
  • All Regions,

2021 Environmental/Cultural Celebration Dates

Schools and the community are invited to recognise and celebrate significant environmental / cultural days each year; some are regional, some national and some international.  Many of these days tie in perfectly with the ethos of the River Detectives program and provide valuable opportunities to broaden and deepen environmental learning, explore curriculum links, make meaningful connections with other organisations and community groups and encourage your students to advocate on a range of environmental and cultural issues.

Check out this calendar (embedded with loads of links) and go wild !!

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), General, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Campaspe River resource

This guide is a great resource for teachers and older students to understand the Campaspe River; catchment, Aboriginal and European history, flows, health and management.

Produced as part of the Caring For The Campaspe project, this guide will be a useful resource for the many schools now engaged with the project through the River Detectives program along the Campapse River.

  • Catchments, Fact sheet, General, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Backyard Birds of Victoria

This great resource can be used as a identification chart for students to begin their birdwatching adventures and the second page is an excellent fact sheet with tips on bringing back birdlife to our parks, homes and gardens.

  • Activity Sheet, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary,
  • All Regions,

Bird colouring sheets

Birds can be thought of as ‘nature’s flying rainbows’.  Colour these fact sheets or use them to inspire your own drawings and make a bird mobile or bird bunting to decorate your classroom, bedroom or garden:  galah, pelican, rainbow bee-eater, red-capped parrot, star finch, variegated fairy-wren.

  • Activity Sheet, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary,
  • All Regions,

Backyard Buddies website

If you are looking to find out more about the native fauna and flora at your waterway, home, school, etc this website is a great place to start.

Explore‘ your own piece of wilderness by reading profiles about native birds, bugs/insects, mammals, frogs, reptiles and some plant families.

Get busy with a project and ‘Create‘ buddy habitats for birds, bugs/insects, mammals, frogs, reptiles and plants.

Use the tips to ‘Help‘ a backyard buddy.

  • Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Website,
  • All Regions,

Frogs of the Wimmera slideshow

This very informative powerpoint presentation was put together by the Wimmera CMA as a PD for River Detectives educators in that region during 2020.

It is full of information, graphics and useful links for teachers to brush up their own skills and arm themselves with content and resources to teach students about frogs.

  • Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Guide/Activity booklet, Teacher, Video/Audio,
  • Wimmera CMA,

Geographic Concepts for a Floodplain and Catchment powerpoint slides

Want to know what some basic floodplain Geographic terms and concepts mean? Jeanie Clark from the Wimmera CMA put together the following three presentations to introduce the basic Geographic terms in a riverine landscape to teachers with little geographic training.  Click on the links below to access each one. The slides could also be used with upper primary/secondary students.  The Jeparit Showgrounds, Jeparit Primary School’s Waterwatch/ River Detectives site, was used as a local example to describe:

  • geographic features  –  of the site, the floodplain in which it  sits and the catchment that it belongs to. Names and explains some river processes that create them.
  • geographic terms  – the nine basic concepts in Geography: location; distance; scale; region; distribution; movement; spatial association; spatial interaction; and spatial change over time.
  • geographic changes over time  –  Follow the changes from 1996-2015 to see what happens to salinity, river height, erosion and vegetation changes through the Millenium Drought, return of flow, major flood and sustained levels at the site.

Jeanie is an ex-VCE Geography teacher and can be contacted through the Wimmera CMA for advice/support (time permitting).

 

  • Catchments, Fact sheet, Flora (plants), Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Secondary, Salinity, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water cycles, Waterways,
  • Wimmera CMA,

Aussie Backyard Bird Count

The Aussie Backyard Bird Count is an annual citizen-science event held in National Bird Week (October).  It is a great way to connect with the birds in your backyard no matter where your backyard happens to be — a suburban backyard, a local park, a patch of forest, down by the beach, or the main street of town.

You can use the App  to do as many 20-minute surveys as you like over the week with the data collected assisting BirdLife Australia understand more about the birds that live where people live.

Use the lesson plans to explore birdwatching at school.

Check out an infographic of the 2020 results for some great maths stats.

  • All, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Website,
  • All Regions,

Discover Ducks

Did you know that Australia is home to 15 native duck species? Yet five in six Victorians can’t name a single one! The ‘Discover Ducks’ website wants to change this and build a nation of duck lovers who are passionate and knowledgeable about our native ducks.

Head to this website to; learn about iconic Victorian duck species, learn how to care for ducks, use the duck detector guide to go duck spotting, use the duck detector map to find out where ducks have been spotted or add your own sighting, challenge yourself to the ‘know your ducks quiz’ or complete a fun survey to discover which duck you are.

  • Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Game, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Website,
  • All Regions,

Wanyarram Dhelk Bendigo Creek Restoration Project Case Study

Wanyarram Dhelk – which means Good Waterhole in Djaara language – aims to improve the water health of the Bendigo Creek and its tributaries.

Wanyarram Dhelk is a cultural expression encapsulating what Bendigo Creek once was, a series of waterholes that provided food and fibre resources as well as recreational opportunities for Djaara people.

The project in 2019/20 provided an important step in the healing process required for Bendigo Creek that has been left in poor condition since the gold rush period.  Strategically, Wanyarram Dhelk has provided an example for the whole community of the potential to ‘Reimagine Bendigo Creek’ and embrace its possibilities as a valued natural resource.

Use this case study to learn more, visit the site with your students, talk with traditional owners about the project or do some of your own ‘reimagining’.  View this great video about the City of Greater Bendigo’s new Reconciliation Plan.

  • Aboriginal Cultures, Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • North Central CMA,

Now and Then waterbug guide

This booklet was produced quite some time ago by Corangamite CMA but remains a useful resource with waterbug profiles including fantastic photos showing the scale of bugs compared to a five cent piece, life cycle sketches and sketches/descriptions of the six main types of waterbug mouthparts (useful graphics for student research projects).

Information and graphics from this booklet have also been used to produce our Waterbug Fact Sheets.

  • All, Fact sheet, Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Story Book/Photo, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Environmental Water in Northern Victoria

Many of Victoria’s rivers and wetlands have been modified to provide water vital for farms, homes and industry.  Water for the environment also benefits communities by improving conditions for fishing, camping and canoeing. Improved water quality can have economic benefits for irrigation and urban water supply.

This map shows how water for the environment will help improve and protect plants and animals in northern Victoria in 2020-21 but is of interest to all regions.

  • Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Lower Secondary, Map, Poster, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Importance of the Ground Storey

This resource developed by Goulburn-Broken CMA highlights the importance of ground storey to native fauna and catchments.  Ground storey is the layer of leaf litter and woody debris found on the ground and is often misunderstood as a mess or fire risk that must be cleaned up.

This guide with stunning nature photography can be used as a series of fact sheets for teacher background or student research.

  • Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Flora (plants), Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

Waterbirds Field Guide of the North Central region

This guide produced by North Central Waterwatch includes fact files on waterbird species; description, distribution, diet, calls, breeding, habitat and conservation status. Beautiful photos make it a great asset for birdwatching at any waterway.

  • All, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Guide/Activity booklet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • North Central CMA,

Waterbug fact sheets

Comprehensive fact sheets on a variety of bugs in each of the sensitivity categories including photos, sketches, life cycle images and information on size, appearance, habitat, diet, movement, predators, life cycles and other interesting facts

  • All, Fact sheet, Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Golden Perch Profile

Find out about Golden Perch and their distribution across northern Victorian waterways.

  • All, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • North East CMA, North Central CMA,

Murray Cod Profile

Find out about Murray Cod and their distribution across northern Victorian waterways.

  • All, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • North East CMA, North Central CMA,

Frogs Field Guide of the North Central region

This guide produced by North Central Waterwatch includes fact files on frog species; description, calls, breeding, eggs, tadpoles, habitat and conservation status. It also clearly explains the different types of pupils, toes and eggs that can assist with frog identification.

  • All, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Guide/Activity booklet,
  • North Central CMA,

Fish Field Guide of the North Central region

This guide produced by North Central Waterwatch includes fact files on fish species; description, breeding, fins, eggs, habitat, diet and conservation status including threats. A map showing the fish species approximate distribution in the North Central CMA region and a breeding cycle calendar is also provided for each species, along with a photo or two. It contains simple information to assist with identifying a fish.

  • All, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Guide/Activity booklet,
  • North Central CMA,

Wonderful Waterbugs

You may like to use this activity sheet from Melbourne Water when completing a sampling activity – includes a space to sketch the bugs you find and profiles on five common waterbugs.

  • Activity Sheet, Fact sheet, Lower Primary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

River Detectives Program Achievements Report 2017-20

This report is a great summary of the goals/benefits of the River Detectives program, how it operates across the state and the level of participation by schools.  It could be a useful resource to share with your staff or school community to explain and share the program.

  • Fact sheet, General, Teacher,
  • All Regions,

Salinity Scale

Use this resource to check the salinity tolerances of humans, crops, livestock, compare your EC results  and understand how salinity can impact on all areas of life

 

  • All, Fact sheet, Poster, Salinity, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

Carp Fact Sheet

Find out about this introduced fish species and how carp impact on our waterways

  • All, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals),
  • All Regions,

Barapa Barapa Field survey plant guide

Find out more about plants in the Barapa Barapa region through pictures and descriptions of the plant, it’s habitat and it’s traditional uses.

 

  • Aboriginal Cultures, All, Fact sheet, Flora (plants), Guide/Activity booklet,
  • North Central CMA,

Our platypus – information brochure (posters)

This brochure developed by Melbourne Water is useful for any region with great information presented in a very clear format that could be used as posters for the classroom.

  • All, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Poster,
  • All Regions,

Creating a frog friendly habitat

Find out all about how to create a frog friendly habitat

  • All, Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Primary, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

Controlling carp fact sheet

Find out all about the National Carp Control Plan – informative and interesting!

  • Fact sheet, Fauna (animals), Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Secondary,
  • All Regions,

All about water bugs

Use these cards to;

  • print and assemble cards with picture and information back to back (laminated will increase their longevity) and use with the In Stream Habitat Poster to place bugs in their preferred habitat zone
  • print the pictures and information separately and match to each other.  Up the stakes and do this in a game of Concentration.
  • play celebrity head to ‘guess the bug’
  • sort the bugs into groups; herbivores/carnivores, legs/no legs, habitat zones, sensitive/tolerant.  How else could you classify them ?
  • print two sets (pictures only) and use for games of concentration, snap or fish to practise identification skills
  • Activity Sheet, All, Fact sheet, Game, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,

Salinity – fact sheet

Salinity refers to the movement and concentration of salt through the landscape. Find out more here!

  • Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Salinity, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

What is a catchment?

This is useful fact sheet to define and explain catchments.  For more detail about how catchments and waterways are interrelated and how they can be protected see this fact sheet for older students.

 

  • Catchments, Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Algae fact sheet

  • Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Secondary, Water Science, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Stormwater fact sheet

What is stormwater? Where does it come from, where does it go and what can we do to help protect our waterways?

  • Catchments, Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Urban Water, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Phosphorus – fact sheet

Your quick reference guide to all things phosphorus.

  • Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

Habitats near a waterway – fact sheet

Find out about the different habitats near and in a waterway and why they are important.

  • Catchments, Fact sheet, Flora (plants), Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

What is the riparian zone? – fact sheet

The riparian zone is any land that adjoins, directly influences, or is influenced by a body of water. Find out what the values, threats and management concerns are.

  • Catchments, Fact sheet, Flora (plants), Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Blackwater Fact sheet

Find out about why water sometimes turns black!

  • Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water Science, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Woody Habitat Fact Sheet

Find out what woody habitat is and why it is an important part of waterways.

  • Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Foam fact sheet

Find out how and why foam occurs in waterways.

  • Fact sheet, Lower Secondary, Teacher, Upper Primary, Upper Secondary, Water Science, Waterways,
  • All Regions,

Turbidity Fact Sheet

  • All, Fact sheet, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

pH Fact sheet

  • All, Fact sheet, Water Science,
  • All Regions,

Water Bug Flip Charts

An interactive resource about the most common macroinvertebrates.  Set on a 5 cent piece, images help students understand the size and scale of waterbugs and when your mouse hovers on an image it flips to reveal a fact file of the bug’s name, size, physical features and interesting adaptions.

 

  • All, Fact sheet, Guide/Activity booklet, Water bugs,
  • All Regions,