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Biodiversity is an important aspect of learning for sustainability as it is an essential function for our life and wellbeing. When we come to know and value our local biodiversity we are inherently more likely to protect it. Building up children's connection and familiarity with nearby natural areas can facilitate their relationship with nature and interest in learning more. 

Below are listed some of the resources that relate to biodiversity for each council as well as some general resources and activities that are linked to the topic of biodiversity. Each council will tend to have information on local nurseries and weed and plant brochures available. Some of this is available digitally.


Council Information

Clip Art 1300508 1280Knox City Council

At the environment page for Knox Council, you can find detailed information about how Council and the community are conserving, enhancing and managing our natural and built environment. This is available here

The following are useful resources when identifying biodiversity locally:

Manningham City Council

Manningham Council encourages residents to protect and nurture the local environment. They have a variety of programs and initiatives that you can find out more about through the website. This is available here

The following are useful resources when identifying biodiversity locally:

Maroondah City Council

The Sustainability Strategy was developed in collaboration with the Maroondah Environment Advisory Committee. It includes information on biodiversity and Maroondah's commitment to this. You can read more here

The following are useful resources when identifying biodiversity locally:

Whitehorse City Council

Whitehorse Council has a Tree Education Program that aims to raise awareness of the benefits of trees in an urban environment, including their benefits on biodiversity. There's more information available through the website and resources on the value of trees that can be printed and displayed. See more here

The following are useful resources when identifying biodiversity locally:

Yarra Ranges Council

Here you can find detailed information about how Council and the community are conserving, enhancing and managing our natural and built environment. See more here

The following are useful resources when identifying biodiversity locally:

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Incursion and Excursion Opportunities

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Biodiversity Incursions:

CERES Community Park

CERES run a multitude of incursions relating to biodiversity for all age groups. These are not free incursions so check out the website for costs and more information. 

Dolphin Research Institute

The Dolphin Research Program offers a range of incursion opportunities, such as the Whale out of Water and 'Don't Pee in My Pool' drain explorer program. To find out more information, see the website

Gould League

There are a range of incursions that the Gould League run related to biodiversity. This is not a free incursion, see the incursions website for costs and more information. 

Melbourne Museum Kindergarten Incursions

There are four learning activities to choose from with a focus on biodiversity (current and extinct) developed specifically for early learning. You can find out about these programs and how to book here

Wildlife Shows

There are a number of wildlife shows that deliver educational incursions however it is best to seek out those that are known to treat their animals ethically and have the appropriate animal handling licences. We have included two here that we have worked with in the past:

Biodiversity Excursions:

CERES Community Park

CERES run a multitude of excursions relating to biodiversity for all age groups. These are not free so check out the website for costs and more information. 

Dolphin Research Institute

Based on the Mornington Peninsula, the Dolphin Research Program offers a range of excursion opportunities including mangrove exploration and rock pool and beach explorer sessions. To find out more information, see the website

Edendale Community Environment Farm

Edendale run a number of different biodiversity excursions activities, for all ages. You can find out more information here

La Trobe Wildlife Sanctuary

The Sanctuary has a diverse range of environmental and biodiversity themed excursion opportunities. The age range is Primary School to VCE and they have the flexibility to include specific topic on request. You can find out more information about visiting the sanctuary hereKoala 48376 1280

Parks Victoria 

There are many opportunities to explore and learn in parks for free and Parks Victoria have created a structured program to help facilitate engagement in parks. The Learning in Nature program has a range of resources available that helps educators run 'self-guided experiences. These are accessible through the program portal here

There are also a number of excursion opportunities for ranger-guided activities and tours. A number of these have associated fees and are only in specific parks. You can find out more information about these here

Port Phillip Ecocentre

The ecocentre offers a great range of excursions around biodiversity, mainly focussing on marine ecosystems. You can find out more information here

Phillip Island Nature Parks

Better known for the Penguin Parade, Phillip Island Nature Parks offer a diverse range of biodiversity and environmental themed education excursion opportunities. They have programs tailed for all age groups and specific programs for VCE subjects. To find out more information about these opportunities, see the website

Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria

The RBG Victoria have a range of nature-based educational excursions at the different garden sites. They have programs to suit all ages at both Melbourne and Cranbourne gardens. To find a program or for more information, see the website.

Zoos Victoria

There are a number of biodiversity programs run by the zoo out of the three zoos and are related to a wide variety of topics. To find a program that suits you, see the zoos website

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Lesson Ideas and Resources

The following Lesson Ideas and Resources are divided below based on the major topic. See the related website for more detailed information about specific lessons or resources. 

Scootle, a national resource repository for curriculum activities, has resources on a broad range of biodiversity topics. You will need your education email ready to login. Find the resources here

Biodiversity Audit

BowerBird Audit Platform

You can create an organisation profile then attribute projects to the profile so students and staff can add sightings and track biodiversity information. Great for creating a database and keeping a record of biodiversity changes through time. Find out more here

Cool Australia Aussie Biodiversity Audit - Primary and Secondary Schools

You will need to login to access these materials. Find them by searching 'Biodiversity Audit' in the Curriculum Materials section here

NatureKit DELWP Location Information

The Department of Land, Water and Planning have the NatureKit tool that can provide details of the flora and fauna specific to a location. To access this information go to the website then:

  1. Zoom in on the location you want and click on ‘Tools’ to the top right of the screen
  2. Select the ‘Species Tools’ tab at the top left and select ‘Extract Species data’
  3. Click ‘next’ on the menu on the left, then select the ‘draw’ function. Use either the polygon or rectangle tool to draw over the section on the map that you want information for.
  4. Once your area is selected, click ‘Add>>’ and it will create CSV files to be downloaded. Once ready, click ‘Download CSV files’. This will then give you a spread sheet of all species data recorded in your selected area and the dates they were surveyed.

HabitAT School Census

This tool was developed by Yarra Ranges Council to help schools explore the habitat quality of their school grounds. You can access these resources here.  

LandLearn Biodiversity Audit

Landlearn is a discontinued program that supported environmental education in schools. The resources have been redistributed and the biodiversity audit is available through the Royal Botanical Gardens website here.  Ant 297304 1280

ResourceSmart Schools

Biodiversity one of the categories for certification through the ResourceSmart Schools program and part of this requires schools to complete a biodiversity audit. They have easily accessible resources available online here as well as curriculum links for the biodiversity module. 

Flora & Fauna Activities

Phillip Island Nature Parks

Better known for the Penguin Parade, Phillip Island Nature Parks offer a diverse range of biodiversity resources and videos for teachers. They have learning resources available for all age groups and specific programs for VCE subjects. These relate closely to their excursion programs but have value when looking at ecosystem types. To find out more information about these resources, see the website. They also have a range of student activities and animal facts available here

Royal Botanic Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens of Victoria have a range of educational resources and kits relating to plants and animals for educators. See them here

Zoos Victoria

The Zoos Victoria website has a number of teaching resources available for their relevant campaigns, such as the Love Your Local campaign. To see these resources, go to the website

Field Guides and Apps

Australian Bird Guide

A field guide to Australian Birds based on the Gaia Guide website that can be used without the internet. The app supports rapid identification based upon location, type, colour and size. It can be found through Google Play here

Birds in Backyards

Birds in Backyards is a research, education and conservation program focusing on the birds that live where people live. Get involved by becoming a member and taking part in our online surveys. Learn how you can create bird-friendly spaces in your garden and local community. Find out more about Australian birds and their habitats here.

Field Guide to Victorian Fauna

This app gives detailed descriptions of animals, maps of distribution and endangered species status combined with stunning imagery and sounds to provide a valuable reference that can be used in urban, bush and coastal environments. The content has been developed by scientists at Museum Victoria, Australia’s largest public museum organisation. It can be found through Google Play here

Freshwater Invertebrate ID Guide

This interactive guide to the Identification and Ecology of Australian Freshwater Invertebrates is designed to provide ecological and taxonomic information to enable community groups, students and scientists to readily identify inland aquatic invertebrates. The guide is available here


Frog 152634 1280Frog Census

This app enables the submission of frog calls to the Melbourne Water Frog Census program. It also provides a description of the 16 species of frogs commonly found in the Melbourne region and enables community members to submit their frog calls for identification. It can be found through Google Play here. You can also access the frog guide booklet here

Fungi in Australia

Fungi in Australia by the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria is a freely available, downloadable e-book that can help with fungi identification in Victoria, available here.

Greening Australia Bird Survey

Through their website, Greening Australia have a number of resources available including a bird survey guide. You can find this resource here

Melbourne Birds

An identification booklet compiled by the Port Phillip & Westernport CMA and BirdsLife Australia that details birds found within the catchment area. You can see this booklet here

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Extra Resources

Hardcopy Reading List:

The Australian Bird Guide by Peter Menkhorst, Danny Rogers, Rohan Clarke, Jeff Davies, Peter Marsack and Kim Franklin (2019, CSIRO Publishing)

Birds of the Yarra Catchment and where to find them by Peter Mason and the Yarra Valley Branch of BOCA (2010, Bird Observers Club of Australia)

Flora of Melbourne by Marilyn Bull and George Stolfo (2014, Hyland House Publishing)

Sprinter and Sprummer: Australia’s Changing Seasons by Tim Entwisle (2014, Royal Botanic Gardens, Melbourne, CSIRO Publishing)

Tracks, Scats and Other Traces: A Field Guide to Australian Mammals by Barbara Triggs (2004, Oxford University Press Australia)

Weeds of the South-East by Fiona Richardson, Rob Richardson and Ros Shepherd (2016, RG and FJ Richardson)

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Moss Fungi And Liverwort