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The mountain-pygmy possum: On the edge

Stage 6 (Years 11-12), Geography

The mountain pygmy-possum: On the edge is an interactive teacher resource for Stage 6 geography students. It includes an online Geographic Information System (GIS) to identify habitats for the endangered mountain pygmy-possum, and techniques to estimate population numbers.

Read more about The mountain-pygmy possum: On the edge

The mountain pygmy-possum: On the edge teaching resource gives students a first-hand look at methods used by conservation agencies to monitor threatened species. 

Using an online GIS, students will examine areas of Kosciuszko National Park to identify where endangered mountain pygmy-possums might live. In doing so, they'll gain an understanding of the delicate balance of this animal’s alpine habitat. 

Students will simulate a Capture Mark Recapture (CMR) survey to discover how monitoring techniques can be used to estimate population size. Follow-up questions will give students the opportunity to explore how this information can be used in conservation management.

The tasks provided in this resource support the study of Biophysical Interactions for the preliminary course and Ecosystems at Risk for the HSC course.

Stage Stage 6 (Years 11-12)
Key learning area Geography
Student outcomes

P2. Describes the interactions between the four components which define the biophysical environment.

P9. Uses maps, graphs and statistics, photographs and fieldwork to conduct geographical inquiries.

P10. Describes human impact on the local environment.

H5. Evaluates environmental management strategies in terms of ecological sustainability.

H7. Justifies geographical methods applicable and useful in the workplace and relevant to a changing world.

H9. Evaluates geographic information and sources for usefulness, validity and reliability.

H10. Assesses the effects of current pressures on the Australian environment.

H11. Applies mathematical ideas and techniques to analyse geographical data

H12. Explains geographical patterns, processes and future trends through appropriate case studies and illustrative examples

Content This teaching kit includes: 

Mountain pygmy-possum GIS task 

  • Introduction 
  • GIS website 
  • Instructions for using the GIS 
  • Task 1 steps 
  • Task 1 worksheets 
  • Follow-up questions 
Mountain pygmy-possum CMR task 
  • Introduction
  • Task 2 steps
  • Task 2 worksheets
  • Task 2 mountain pygmy-possum cards
  • Follow-up questions

Teacher resources

  • Application to areas of study
  • Worksheets and printable materials
Boulder fields in Kosciuskzo National Park. Photo: Mel Schroder/OEH