Sustaining Life in the Grasslands

Year levels



$19 per student


Monday to Friday (during the school term)

Student Ratio

1 adult for every 10 students



Explore the science of adaptations and the relationships between species in an ecosystem through the real-world example of Zoos Victoria’s conservation programs.

Program Description

In Sustaining life in the Grasslands, students apply skills from field science and the observation of a native species to build their understanding of animal adaptations and explore the relationships that exist within ecosystems.

Students gain an insight into how these skills are applied in the real-world by learning how Zoos Victoria undertake research to help fight extinction. Students will also collect data as part of a practical investigation into the survival of a species and will be asked to use the data they collect in the field to determine if a proposed release site is capable of meeting its needs. This data will be shared online to add to the existing body of knowledge.

Students will learn:

  • How structural, physiological and behavioural adaptations enhance an organism’s ability to survive
  • What strategies are used in the real world at Zoos Victoria to manage biodiversity and support the conservation of species
  • Examples of the relationships between species including, amensalism, commensalism, mutualism, parasitism and predation
  • The interdependencies between species including the impact of changes on keystone species
  • How to conduct a practical investigation into the survival of a species in a zoo habitat
Activity Duration
Welcome and introduction to your day (arrivals between 9.50 - 10.05am)
10 minutes
Workshop with Werribee Open Range Zoo teacher
80 minutes
Safari bus tour 40 minutes
Self-guided walking trails and options to join educational keeper talks  1 – 4 hours

Program maps and itineraries

Your booking confirmation email will list your group's education workshop time/s. Each workshop time has its own map and daily itinerary. Paper maps will be provided to you on the day.

Program resources

These documents are password protected so that VCE students can complete their Student Workbook to the best of their ability. You will be emailed the password when you book your excursion.

Learning outcomes

Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) – Biology

Unit 1: How do living things stay alive?

Area of study 2:  How do living systems sustain life?

  • Students will observe an Australian animal and discuss structural, physiological and behavioural adaptations that enhance an organisms survival
  • Hear about how Zoos Victoria are exploring new strategies for managing biodiversity to support the conservation of species
  • Observe an Australian zoo habitat and discuss biotic factors and interactions
  • Students will participate in an activity exploring the impact of one keystone species in the grassland ecosystem
  • Students will undertake data collection to help inform the suitability of a zoo habitat for the release of an endangered species

Area of study 3: Practical Investigation

  • Students will conduct a practical investigation into the survival of a species in a zoo habitat

Plan your excursion 

Sustaining life in the Grasslands is an outdoor all-weather program; the students will need appropriate clothing for weather conditions. This could include a raincoat, hat and sun protection. Students will need a copy of the student booklet, clipboard and a pen.

The organising teacher should make themselves known to Admission Staff prior to entering the Zoo so that payment can be made. More information 

Book your excursion

Call (03) 9340 2788

You will need the following to book your excursion:

  • Education program of your choice
  • Preferred excursion date
  • School name and address
  • Contact details of organising teacher
  • Number of students/classes and their year level