The site is regarded as a wetland of national and international importance and the centre has a growing reputation for excellence n wetland conservation, education and customize. The Shorthand Wetlands are located within the grounds of the Hunter Wetlands Centre, Australia. It is connected to the Hunter River by Ironwork Creek. It is owned and operated by a non-profit company and is run by a small paid staff and a large group of volunteers. The Wetlands is made up of many Fresh water ponds with an abundance of animals and plant life.

The wetlands were established to encourage conservation of wetlands and their flora and fauna; to promote public awareness and education on the value of atlantes; to provide facilities for the scientific study of wetlands and; to cooperate with other like-minded organizations both within Australia and throughout the world. Purpose: The purpose of the investigation was to engage in first hand investigations using a variety of sampling techniques to obtain data that will allow us to process and analyses biotic and biotic trends across ecosystems. Methods: 1 .

As a group (3-4 students) randomly select three letter/number combinations and find the sites on the map. 2. Place the quadrant within the site so that a portion of the drat is in the pond. 3. Draw in the water line and map the vegetation and develop a key using your own symbols to describe the plants found in your quadrant. 4. At each of the three sites, use the bucket to collect some water, place the water in the tray and use the dip net to collect as many animals as possible from the pond. 5. Collect animals from the surface of the water, in the water column and near the bottom of the pond.

Spend approximately 5 minutes collecting at each site. 6. Use a pond identification sheet to identify the animals and record the number of animals in results table. 7. Take the animals collected to the Wet Lab and use the resources provided to determine the feeding method of each animal in your tray, sort them into categories and record it in the table in your booklet. 8. Construct a food web and show the energy through the web. Results: Refer to pages 8-12 Discussion: The accuracy of measurements can be effected by the equipment used, the person using it and the conditions in which the measurements are taken.

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As individuals we all have our own way of gathering and interpreting information. Manual methods of collecting data may be less accurate and the use of a Data logger may offer more accurate, resourceful results. The downside to data loggers is that they may also be ineffective due to needing to be calibrated before each use to ensure precise and accurate measurements and the results you obtain rely on a person’s ability to use the data logger correctly and their reading which can vary due to interpretation and perception.

The date logger was important because it helped to indicate whether there was something wrong of unusual occurring in the ecosystem. The results have the ability to show any inconsistencies within the ecosystem which is important as anything out of the ordinary could be the difference between life and death for some organisms. Conclusion: In November 1981 Dry Max Maddox, Associate Professor of Education at the University of Newcastle, leased part of the wetlands site for grazing horses. Dry Maddox noticed four species of Egrets had established a breeding colony in trees standing in a paperback swamp on the site.

As his fascination with, and study of the breeding biology of the birds intensified, he plopped a concept for using the building and wetlands as a biological education and research centre focusing on the egrets as one of its main features. The site began to generate considerable interest due to the diversity and rarity of waterbeds using the site. There are many threats to the wetlands including; Loss of Habitat through changes in land use, degradation of habitat, plant and animal pests, harvesting shorebirds, climate change and threatened species.

Introduced animals that occur at The Wetlands Centre and which pose the most serious threat to native Anna include: The Black Rat, House Mouse, Red Fox, Domestic Cat, Common Myna, Common Starling and the Mosquito Fish. The Black Rat and House Mouse breed prolifically especially after rainfall events. Apart from the threat of both of these species spreading disease, the Black Rat poses a threat to shore-breeding birds, shorebirds, and the Long necked Tortoise by predating eggs and nestlings. Red Foxes as well as feral cats and dogs gain entry to the wetlands via the wildlife corridor at Ironwork Creek and at the canoe channel site.

They have been recorded preying on venial Egrets that nest at high densities within the forest. Red foxes also pose a threat to other species such as ground nesting and ground feeding bird species. Brown Hares also occur on the site and their preference for new grass shoots and newly planted trees as a source of food poses a threat to the regeneration of vegetation. The wetlands provide important habitat for a diverse range of animals throughout all seasons including water birds, frogs, invertebrates and fish. Water- loving plants include sedges, rushes, and various tree species such as Swamp

Mahogany. The site is a receptor for seawater and provides a natural processing system for this discharge. In this way, Shorthand Wetlands acts like the kidneys of the landscape, filtering impurities in the water that would otherwise pollute our creeks, rivers and oceans. The wetlands act as settling ponds, reducing turbidity and sedimentation in the receiving waters of Ironwork Creek and the Hunter Estuary. The Wetlands provides an educational experience for thousands of visitors and students. The Wetlands is a remarkable place to be and to see nature in the wild.

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