How well do you know your native animals? I studied biology at university and actually had the nickname “bio-boy” in high school because of my passion for the subject. However, I was embarrassed recently when I discovered I could not name a single species of native eagle. Curious, I started asking around and found that most Australians are woefully ignorant about which animals are native and could only list a half dozen species they knew of. In other countries and in times past, learning the names of hundreds of native plants and animals was considered an important part of any school curriculum, in fact children were expected to know them even if they did not go to school. No one can say for sure why publicly funded schools in Australia do not take it seriously to teach people basic facts about their country, but it is not just embarrassing for Australians when they struggle to provide interesting conversation to foreigners about their country, its history, culture, heritage and wildlife, it hurts them on an spiritual level because it discourages them from seeing their country as an interesting and exciting place to live.
Click the image above to be taken to the Four Birds Education Pinterest page where you can find 54 beautiful images of native Australian animals with some basic facts about each one to show your children, use as inspiration to create learning games or just to admire some of the splendor of Australia’s native fauna.
Here are some reasons why it is worthwhile to teach children about native animals:
- It encourages children to regard their country as interesting and worth respecting.
- It helps children and adults to feel safer when they venture out into the outdoors for camping or hiking trips.
- It provides them with interesting conversation material they could discuss with strangers of foreigners helping them feel more confident and interesting when socialising.
- It introduces children to the world of biology in a fun and interesting way as children are naturally fascinated by animals.
- It helps children to sense that Australians share a common bond through the landscape and its wildlife.
- Children will start desiring toy animals that are Australian and it will become a shared Australian cultural tradition to have had toy Frogmouths, Penguins and Quokkas!
- Giant Australian Animals Not Wiped Out By Climate Change 50,000 Years Ago (asianscientist.com)
- Megafauna mystery (csirohelixblog.com)
- WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo: An Up-Close Encounter With Australia’s Iconic Animals (aussiegators.com)