e-book Black Swan Lake: Life of a Wetland

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Most exist because the winter rainfall raises the level of groundwater above the ground surface in low-lying areas. Some wetlands are rain-filled depressions that hold water for only short periods; these are common in the drier regions away from the western coast. Claypans temporary freshwater collection areas and salt lakes are widespread in inland areas of the state, where rain is irregular.

The Wetlands

When it rains and water collects in a claypan, water shrimps or other aquatic animals might suddenly hatch from their eggs and appear out of the mud. Wetlands are home to many tiny invertebrates, as well as frogs, fish, small mammals, a few reptiles and waterbirds. Water Corporation acknowledges the Traditional Custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, water and community.

We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders past, present and emerging.

Login Register. Toggle navigation. Find a lesson plan. Wetlands: animal and plant life.

Swan Lake - Black Swan #2 Osipova/Golding

About this lesson Students will discover the important role wetlands play in supporting animal and plant life. Things you will need Wetland plant name cards 1 per card including: bulrush, reeds, sedges, waterlilies, algae and pond weed Wetland bird name cards 1 per card including: black swan, brolga, glossy ibis, yellow billed spoonbill and black-necked stalk. A wetland is covered in water at least part of the year and has special soils and plants, which can live in these conditions.


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Explain this definition to the class. Ask the class if anyone has ever visited one? Name a local example. What are the 3 characteristics that make a wetland? Special plants — hydrophytes, special soil — hydric soil, and water Write these on the board.

Rod Giblett, Black Swan Lake: Life of a Wetland - PhilPapers

Discuss what happens to most plants if they sit in water. Wetland plants can filter water, provide a habitat for fish, birds and insects and stop the soil from washing away. Divide the class into small groups or pairs. Give a different wetland plant card to each group. Each group needs to decide who is going to draw the plant, who is going to write the information down and who is going to be the spokesperson for the group who visits other groups.

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Have students research what their wetland plant looks like and draw it. Label the drawing and state where it grows. Next, the spokesman for each group visits each of the other groups in turn to share what they have found out.

Birds that live in wetlands

The remaining members record the information they are told by the visiting spokesman, by the end of the activity everyone will know something about all the plants. Part 2 — Wetland birds Use the same groups as the activity in Part 1 but have students swap their previous jobs with another student within the group.


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  5. Students can research and label the bird drawing with; what sort of beak it has; what sort of legs it has; how it catches its food; does it live all year in the wetland or does it migrate? Divide a piece of paper into quarters and give each box a title; Beak, legs, food, and home. Have the spokespeople from each group travel around to the other groups to share their knowledge and remaining group members record the information. Ask a member of each group to describe to the class something they learned about a bird or plant. Male is quite stunning with its dark plumage and bright yellow eyes.

    Prolific breeder and can become destructive to other wetland species and plants.

    Seen mainly on land but they can also fly and swim. They have competitively excluded the Native Grey Duck from most Wetlands having hybridised with them so much, they can be hard to tell apart. Endemic to NZ and is a noisy duck.

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    The female is more colourful with a white head and they will pair for life. Australian but common throughout New Zealand. The male is larger than the female, and being herbivores feed mainly on aquatic plant life. Imported in , it is a herbivore that prefers short grass. It has become a problem in New Zealand and can be hunted all year round. It is a protected species in NZ and is under threat from predators which take the ducklings. The nesting boxes on poles in the Wetlands are for the Grey Teal. Endemic and under threat from predators. This little Grebe is quite comical to watch when swimming around with chicks on their backs.

    Wildlife The Wetlands walk includes a one hour loop walk around the lake and offers the chance to see some of New Zealand's wetland birds and aquatic life.