Expansive grassland once covered one third of Victoria. Now, less than 0.5% remains. Explore one of the last remaining vestiges of this critically-endangered ecosystem and meet the unique creatures who call it home.
Expansive grassland once covered one third of Victoria. Now, less than 0.5% remains. Explore one of the last remaining vestiges of this critically endangered biome and meet the unique creatures who call it home.
Werribee Open Range Zoo sits within some of the last remaining native grassland of the Victorian Volcanic Plain. Formed over millions of years, the volcanic plain is the third largest of its kind in the world. Using the grasslands as a case study, students are immersed in this endangered biome and explore the biotic and abiotic factors which make it unique.
Take the Australian Trail and learn about how this unique landform developed and how it’s changed over time. You’ll discover the unique critters who call the grassland home and learn about their food webs. Jump on a safari tour to meet the animals up close. You’ll see how they’ve adapted to their habitats and how they interact with each other and their grassland environment. There are also walking trails and keeper talks to experience.
By focusing on a real-life issue and learning about local species, you’ll gain an insight into the importance of conservation and the impacts us human can have on wildlife.
Students will learn:
- About the grasslands ecosystems and the interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the grassland
- The distinctive climate, soil, vegetation and productivity of the grasslands biome
- The human alteration of the grassland biome to produce food, industrial materials and fibres, and the environmental effects of these alterations
|Welcome and introduction to your day||10 minutes|
Workshop with Werribee Open Range Zoo teacher
|Safari bus tour||40 minutes|
|Self-guided walking trails and options to join educational keeper talks||1 – 4 hours|
Victorian Curriculum 9 – 10
Ecosystems consist of communities of interdependent organisms and abiotic components of the environment; matter and energy flow through these systems (VCSSU121)
- Identification of biotic and abiotic components and demonstration of their interactions through a food web activity
Distribution and characteristics of biomes as regions with distinctive climates, soils, vegetation and productivity (VCGGK133)
- Immersion within the grassland ecosystem of the Victorian Volcanic Plain
Human alteration of biomes to produce food, industrial materials and fibres, and the environmental effects of these alterations (VCGGK136)
- Discussion of the impact of human settlement on the in the western region since the late 1800s.
Plan your excursion
Grassland Ecosystem is an outdoor all-weather program; the students will need appropriate clothing for weather conditions. The optional worksheet may be used to support the Grassland Ecosystem program. Print for your students to bring on the day.
The organising teacher should make themselves known to Admission Staff prior to entering the Zoo so that payment can be made. More information