The Catlins Bat Project
The Catlins Area School has been actively involved in the ‘Catlins’ Bats on the Map’ Project.
The ‘bats project’ has been funded by Curious Minds’ Participatory Science Platform (PSP). By collaborating with bat and insect scientists and with community volunteers from the local branch of Forest & Bird, TCAS students have become well informed about bats, bat & moth ecology, how the environment of the Catlins is suitable for the endangered NZ Long-tailed Bat to survive and how bat researchers go about studying bats in the wild.
The students have had a lot of fun creating bats in art, reading about bats and using recording equipment to discover that bats are flying across some of their paddocks and gardens at home. There was even a Bat Camp at Tawanui in November 2019 for Room 3.
Year 12 student Lauren Grant has spent time during 2020 creating a media product in the 'community education' genre for her NCEA Level 2 Media Studies Course. Lauren's short film showcased the work completed across the community to preserve and monitor the local bat population. The film was an outcome supported by The Catlins Area School's staff professional development plan, to encourage projects reflecting the NPDL (New Pedagogies for Deep Learning) philosophy. Lauren's video was showcased by Catriona Gower at the Australasian Bat Conference in Te Anau.
Over the second half of 2020, it is hoped students will undertake their own detailed investigations to find the best foraging places for local bats and attempt to work out where they might be roosting through the daytime. More bat inspired creativity is also being planned. By the time the project exhibition is installed in the Owaka Museum (now in June 2021), TCAS students’ work will be contributing to putting Catlins’ Bats on the Map in all respects.