School lesson: Habitats are home (bayside) - video transcript

This page is the video transcript for the School lesson: Habitats are home (bayside) video on Council's YouTube channel. It is nearly 10 minutes long.

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>> JACKIE:  Hi everyone. My name’s Jackie. 

>> MIKE:  And I'm Mike. 

>> JACKIE:  We work for the Brisbane City Council environment centres and today we are here at one of the Council reserves, the Boondall Wetlands.  This is a very special environment. It is a really important habitat.  Habitat is something we are going to talk about today. 

>> MIKE:  So, what exactly is a 'habitat'? 

>> JACKIE:  So, a habitat is the natural home for a plant or an animal and animals get all the things they need for survival from their habitat.  It is five things. 

>> MIKE:  Five things, let me guess – they need clean air, clean water, food source, shelter and also a mate. 

>> JACKIE: We are going to go for a little walk through the Boondall Wetlands today and we are going to be looking out for all these five things in the habitat. 

>> MIKE:  Keep your eyes peeled and let’s go.     

>> MIKE:  Oh! Gross. Jackie look at this! It looks like someone spat in the tree. 

>> JACKIE: Ah no!  Mike that is not spit.  This is actually something called a spittle bug.  So the foam we can see on the casuarina tree here is produced by the nymphs, which is the babies in the life cycle of the spittle bug, and they produce this foam from the sap in the tree and it helps protect the young from drying out and from predators until they are grown up. 

>> MIKE:  Wow! 

>> MIKE: Wow look at this. It’s big scratches you might see going all the way up this tree.  I reckon they are from a lace monitor or a goanna.  So up here, they are probably going up either to sun himself or even possibly looking for prey.  The kind of food a goanna would find in this tree could maybe be birds eggs, maybe even small mammals. 

>> JACKIE:  Up the top there I can see a big hollow. These are big old trees and this is a Queensland blue. They are a really important habitat trees for animals like these lace monitors.  Also, possums, gliders and all kinds of birds would use this tree hollow as a shelter.  This tree is probably a couple of hundred years old and it takes at least 100 years for a tree to develop these big beautiful hollows which is so important for shelter in this kind of habitat. 

>> MIKE:  So just behind me we have got one of our resident wader birds. It is a royal spoonbill which is a magnificent bird.  Just on the other side of the swampy area, you’ll notice there is a beautiful crest on the back of his head and obviously that typical spoonbill which helps to sift through the muddy water.  So, just across our track is another track, and this is made by termites.  This is a termite mud tube, I like to call it a termite highway and the reason I like to call it that is because the termites actually travel through what are essentially tunnels. Inside here they create the perfect temperature and humidity that the termites need. Also it protects them from predators and also from that bright sunlight.  Now this one is really cool because it heads all the way up into this dead tree which also provides habitat for the tree crevice skink, which sometimes you can see hiding underneath the bark, super cool!   

[music] 

>> MEGAN:  This here is a melaleuca tree, you might also know it as a paperbark tree, and as the name suggests, it has this white papery bark.  This tree has an extended flowering period which attracts plenty of pollinators, things like our honeyeaters, bees and bats as well.  It provides a lot of shelter for our many species and also lots of insects like to hide underneath the bark.  This tree would have had a lot of traditional Aboriginal uses very important for this area and region. 

[music] 

>> JACKIE:  There is an incredible amount of diversity with the shorebirds that live here at the Boondall Wetlands and also down at the mud flats at Nudgee Beach.  All of the species that live around here have unique adaptations or features that enable them to survive in this particular environment.  As you can see here, each of the different species of shorebirds have unique beak adaptation that enable them to feed on different food.  Some are feeding on shrimp right down deep in the sand and the mud, whereas others are feeding on crabs at different depths within the mud themselves. So the unique beak adaptations mean that each species is feeding on a different type of food and not competing with each other for the same food. 

[music] 

>> MEGAN:  We’re really fortunate we have had so much rain in the last few weeks and it’s an absolute frog frenzy.  Here at Boondall Wetlands at the moment you can see green tree frogs, striped marsh frogs, and all different types of frogs.  Sometimes they can be really tricky to spot.  You might need to listen with your ears to hear them, or you might look in little hidey holes. 

[music] 

>> MEGAN:  This here is a green tree frog.  It’s Australia’s most recognisable frog because of its large size, and they can grow up to eleven centimetres, and usually because of their green colour.  Now you can find this frog in a variety of different types of habitat including here at the Wetlands, in swamp lands, but also in sometimes in our very own backyard.  During the day they like to hide because they are nocturnal, so you will often find them in little hidey-holes, underneath rocks, sometimes in hollows as well.  Then at night-time they will come out searching for food.  They love to eat things like crickets, cockroaches, sometimes bats and also mice as well.   

[music] 

>>MEGAN:  This frog is called a striped marsh frog, it is one of the most common frogs you can find here across Brisbane.  Unfortunately, it does get confused with the cane toad.  It looks a little bit different because this frog lays a little bit lower to the ground whereas the cane toad has a more upright body and has those big glands on the back of their head.  This frog also has more predominate eyes as well, so there are a few key differences to tell apart from the striped marsh from the cane toad. 

>> JACKIE:  This is a great example of an arboreal termite nest, which is obviously habitat for termites themselves but also for other species as well.  This particular one has a big hole that has been drilled into it and most likely a kookaburra has actually nested inside the termite nest there.  Possums will also use the termite nest for their home as well, sometimes goannas get up in there.   

Well thanks for joining us on our adventure through the Boondall Wetlands where we’ve learned so much about habitats and the unique plants and animals that call this every day their home. 

>> MIKE:  Do you remember the five things that make up a habitat?  How about you Jackie? Do you remember the five things that make up a habitat? 

>> JACKIE: Food, water, shelter, clean air and a mate. 

>> MIKE: Awesome shot Jackie. So hopefully you guys picked up on all those things today.  Something else we want you guys to think about is your actions and they really matter to help preserve the habitat we have around Brisbane city.  So thinking about things like when you go for a walk, keep your dog on a lease so it is not chasing any wildlife  

>> JACKIE:  Maybe pick up rubbish if you see any and make sure you put your rubbish in to the bin where it belongs. 

>> MIKE:  Thanks for coming guys and we hopefully see you guys in the future. 

>> JACKIE:  Come and visit us at the Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre.  Bye. 

>> MIKE:  Catch ya. 

Last updated:16 June 2020