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Community day; time to play.


Jenni Frank

Today started off nice and early to check bat traps, as seen below. Checking the traps was chilly, but we were surrounded by amazing landscape as seen in the main picture. Luckily we got to stop in at the local cave paintings on the way back.

Today Bush Blitz ran a community day in two communities of Groote Eylandt; Angurugu in the morning and Umbakumba in the afternoon. At the community day, scientists and us (the teachers) set up different tables showing native flora and fauna. This included specimens under microscopes, insect collecting techniques, exploring the fish of Groote Eylandt as well as video and trapping techniques of mammals. I was part of the 'flora and art' table where we educated community members about the unique flora of Groote Eylandt including the botanists' most recent find- the bladderwort, Utricularia singeriana (pictured below). This type of bladderwort has only been found in one other spot in the NT, and that population is threatened due to introduced species. This population found in Groote Eylandt is currently our only safe population. This plant is carnivorous; it catches water bugs in its extensive root system and then absorbs nitrogen from the bugs as they decay. Nitrogen is important for plant growth and DNA/protein synthesis. On our table, local indigenous children also took part in tracing local plant species.

Lastly, we went to Naked Pools for the school students to collect their own specimens with nets and pooters. In Umbakumba, I was part of the 'microscope' table were locals could view specimens on a microscope connected to our laptop. It was great to have an opportunity to share knowledge of local flora and fauna with the surrounding communities. Hopefully today has inspired the next generation of rangers and scientists!

community day 1      community day 2      community day 3

community day 4      community day 5