Marine Science Students Become Environmentalists for the Day

The Year 9 Marine Science students visited Penguin Island this week as part of their studies.

They performed observation and collected data in order to make a recommendation as to whether the park should remain open to human visitors. They have been asked to present their findings in a report which will be assessed as part of their course. 

Penguin Island is part of the Shoalwater Marine Park, and it is a stunning example of why marine parks are so important for preserving biodiversity in Western Australia. It is home to dolphins, Australian sealions, little penguins, pelicans, and a huge community of birds such as the bridled and fairy terns which have migrated from Siberia and Borneo to breed and nest. 

It was devastating to hear that the population of little penguins has declined from 1500 in 2009 to only 250. Therefore, this excursion was particularly relevant to educate the girls on the impact of humans and the need for conservation.  

The girls participated in an adventure cruise where they met the local sealion community and observed the local Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin. The dolphins seemed glad to see us to, coming over to the boat and jumping out of the water! It was very special when we spotted a cute dolphin calf swimming with its mother. What a special experience!

Students were also taken on a guided tour of the island where they spotted reptiles, penguin burrows, bird eggs, and beautiful native plants. Overall, it was a very rewarding and educational experience.  

Below, some of our students reflect on the excursion.

Spending the day on Penguin Island was an informative and enjoyable experience. I learnt many things over the course of the excursion, one of the most interesting examples being that sea lions are extremely endangered, with only about 10,000 left in the wild. My favourite activity we participated in was the cruise around the marine park, which allowed us to view all the surrounding islands and wildlife that inhabits that area. Layla Morris

Penguin Island is in Shoalwater marine park. There is one island dedicated to seals only, but only male seals sleep there because the females have another island. I liked seeing the dolphins in the water when we were on the boat. Emma Dolan

I really enjoyed the excursion to Penguin Island. My biggest highlight of the day was the dolphins on the boat trip. We saw a bunch of dolphins who were very interactive with us, it brought us so many laughs and enjoyable moments that will be remembered. Betsy Kane

What A Term! So Many Opportunities – Jennifer Oaten

As I look back on the past nine weeks, I am so grateful for who we are as a community and what we have achieved. Through the dedication of our staff and the enthusiasm of our students, we have established new connections, immersed ourselves in opportunities and worked through challenges.

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