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  • In this activity, students take on the role of migrating birds. By participating in a physically active simulation, they experience the journey from summer breeding grounds to winter feeding grounds. As the activity progresses different scenarios affect these areas and the ability to successfully migrate.

    By the end of this activity, students should:

    • understand the importance of estuaries for bird migration
    • understand wider food web links, for example, the potential impact on migrating birds of estuary pollution or a reduction in the numbers of cockles
    • be able to discuss some of the impacts that humans have on estuaries and some ways that these impacts can be reduced.

    Download the Word file (see link below) for:

    • introduction/background notes
    • what you need
    • what to do
    • discussion questions
    • activity area set-up
    • scenarios.

    Useful links

    Curious about the size of birds in New Zealand? Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research have developed the Chocolate Fish Index to help you out! Watch their video onYouTube.

    Visit the Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand for more information about estuaries.

    Visit the Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand for more information about bird migration.

    Visit the Alaska Science Centre website to view maps showing the flight path of a number of godwits fitted with satellite tags.

    The National Wetland Trust is a non-profit organisation established in 1999 to increase the appreciation of wetlands and their values by all New Zealanders.

      Published 12 October 2009 Referencing Hub articles
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