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Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

Field of Mars Environmental Education Centre

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Virtual fieldwork

Draft pages - Under development

Inquiry questions

This page contains a virtual-style simulation of the physical fieldwork that takes place on a real Field of Mars EEC excursion.

This virtual fieldwork has been planned to gather data and information needed to help answer three versions of the fieldwork inquiry questions:

  1. How does soil type affect the biotic and abiotic factors at different study sites?
  2. What are the effects of introduced species on the environment in the Field of Mars Reserve?
  3. What methodologies and data sources are required for a valid and reliable survey of sites affected by introduced species at the Field of Mars Reserve?

Focus species

The long-nosed bandicoot is a small, omnivorous, ground-dwelling native marsupial that is common in most of eastern Australia, however it is almost completely extinct from the Sydney harbour area, with only three small threatened populations remaining in the harbour area.

One of these threatened populations occurs at Sugarloaf Hill, where many fresh snout pokes (small holes dug by bandicoots looking for food) have been found, particularly on the south side of the hill.

Investigation purpose

This fieldwork has been set up to compare two sites 200m apart at the Sugarloaf. The main differences between these sites are the aspect (direction the slope faces), vegetation structure and soil texture.

Many more bandicoot snout pokes have been observed at site 1 (roughly S facing) compared to site 2 (roughly N facing). It seems that site 1 may be a better habitat for these animals. But why? The first inquiry question seeks to answer this question.

We will use the same equipment and methods to record data at each site. Once the data has been processed into a useful format we can then compare and contrast the two sites. This will then allow us to address the second inquiry question.