In this lesson, students will learn about an upcoming effort to accurately count the koala population in Australia. Then, they will participate in a species count of their own.

Lesson Overview

Featured Article: “Australia Gears Up for the Great Koala Count, Using Drones, Droppings and Dogs” by Yan Zhuang

An estimated 61,000 koalas were killed, injured or displaced during last summer’s wildfires, according to a recent study. And even before that, many had lost their habitats to land clearing. In November, the Australian government announced that it would commit 2 million Australian dollars ($1.5 million) to fund a nationwide count of the animals.

In this lesson, you will learn about the methods officials will use to conduct an accurate count and why they believe it is so urgent. Then, you will participate in a citizen science project to help count another species on land or in the sea.

Warm Up

What do you know about koalas? Test your knowledge with this short quiz:

1. Koalas are a type of:

a) bear

b) marsupial

c) rodent

2. What are some of the key features of a koala’s anatomy?

3. What do koalas eat?


  • Occurred Tuesday, December 29th, 2020 — all day