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

This page is a video transcript of the Habitats are home (bushland) video by Brisbane City Council's Downfall Creek Bushland Centre. The video is housed on Council's YouTube channel and is nearly 8 minutes long.

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[Introduction music] 

[Desk bell rings] 

>> CATHERINE: Hello, hello, hello. Welcome to Downfall Creek Bushland Centre. You’re the group that are here to talk about habitats, aren’t you? No worries, I’ll grab my hat. I’ll meet you outside. 

Hi, my name’s Catherine and I’m one of the Environment Education Officers who works here in the beautiful Raven Street Reserve in north Brisbane. 

So, the word of the day for you guys is 'habitat'.  

So, what is a habitat? 

A habitat is any place that an animal lives and there’s some special things you need to know about habitats. 

Habitats can be really big, like this reserve, this is one whole habitat, or they can be really small like a leaf or a rock. We call those small habitats, micro habitats. Now generally, the bigger the animal the bigger the habitat, so you won’t find any elephants hiding underneath rocks in here. I know that because there’s no elephants in Australia. 

Hi guys, I’m going to take you on the Creek Track now and I’m going to show you an example of a healthy habitat and an unhealthy habitat. So stick to the path, follow me, let’s go. 

Habitats can be healthy and unhealthy. This is an example of a healthy habitat. This is a creek habitat. This is actually Downfall Creek. Now I know it’s a healthy habitat because I can see and hear lots of animals. I can see the trees around and lots of grass around and healthy-looking bushes that around. The water is nice and clear and there’s no pollution. This is an example of a healthy habitat. 

We are going to take you now to show you as an example of the same creek, but in an unhealthy state. 

Believe it or not, this is Downfall Creek. It is the top end of the Downfall Creek catchment. Downfall Creek as you see here runs all the way through Raven Street Reserve and ends up at Boondall Wetlands down at Moreton Bay.  

Humans have modified this part of the creek into a drain, so therefore damaging the creek habitat in this area alone. You can see by looking at the creek now, that there is not much life in there, and you also see the pollution and the pollutants on top of the surface. 

When we talk about unhealthy habitats, we talk about pollution and rubbish that people left behind. Up in the tree here, we have some rubbish left behind by humans. It’s a balloon. Balloons can be very dangerous for the environment especially when they land in waters and the oceans. So instead of releasing a balloon at your next party, why don’t you try blowing bubbles instead? 

Habitats can be natural, or manmade. This is not a nest, this is actually a ringtail possum’s drey. We have two types of possums in the reserve. We have Ringtails and Brushtails, but this one is made by the Ringtail. 

Let’s have a look at the manmade habitat now. Even if a habitat is manmade, animals will soon take advantage of it and live there especially if it provides good shelter. There’s something living in this box right here, shall we have a look?  

An animal will only live in a habitat if that habitat provides the five things it needs to survive. Those five things are clean air, water, shelter, food and a mate. 

I’ve found a really good habitat for you. This is a termite’s nest. Have a look high up in the tree. As I’ve said, this is a termite nest. Termite nests are found on the ground and also high up in the tree. Termites play a really important role in the reserve here. They eat the bark that has fallen down on the ground, they recycle the nutrients, which goes into the soil and helps the trees to grow. 

Now this is an example of a shared habitat. Not only do termites use this habitat, but so do brushtail possums, kookaburras, kingfishers and lace monitors. So the termites do all the hard work and then everybody else moves in.  

Some habitats are under the ground. This is a habitat for a trapdoor spider. Shall we have a look? You can hardly see it, it’s very well camouflaged. We'll gently pry it open. These spiders are nocturnal, so they’ll come out at night. Normally the females are the big ones that live in their traps  and they will hang their legs over the edge of the trap and wait for an insect to come pass. They’ll grab it, drag it down to the bottom of the trap and then it shuts like this.  

Above me here, we have a native stingless bee’s nest. Australia has about 2000 species of native bees. Only about 11 live in colonies like this. This one is called the sugarbag bee. It’s very little, it looks like a little fly. Sugarbag bees produce a little bit of honey but not as much honey as our European bees. This is where we get most of our honey from. A native stingless bee is a really important part of the environment. They are very good pollinators. They are very good at pollinating flowers, fruits and vegetables.  


This vine is called a monkey rope vine, it’s called a monkey rope vine because it likes to climb up trees just like a monkey does.  

Trees are really important habitats for lots of different animals. This is a really old tree and as you can see, there’s a couple of hollows in this tree. In this hollow, you will sometimes find lace monitors, carpet pythons. You might find owls, snakes, lizards, lots of different animals. Hollows take a hundred years to form, so it’s really important that we protect our old trees. 

There’s one animal at Raven Street Reserve that you will sure to smell before you see it and that is our flying foxes. At Raven Street we are lucky enough to have a camp of flying foxes. The fact that they are here, is a good indication that this habitat provides the five things that they need to survive. 

Flying foxes are a really important part of the environment. They spread seed and they help pollinate our trees. They also like to poo a lot, so we are gonna keep moving.  

Well, that’s it for habitat today. I’ve really enjoyed showing you around Raven Street Reserve. It is one of the hidden gems in the middle of Brisbane.  I’ve enjoyed showing you all the habitats I can find in the middle of Brisbane in our major capital city. So I look forward seeing you, hopefully, out in the wild one day. 

Bye for now. 

Last updated: 16 June 2020

Brisbane City Council acknowledges this Country and its Traditional Custodians. We pay our respects to the Elders, those who have passed into the dreaming; those here today; those of tomorrow.