Going Burrowing-Crazy at Narrawong District Primary School
A couple of weeks ago, I was fortunate to join the students from the Narrawong District Primary School again to have a chat about a unique local resident – the Freshwater Burrowing Crayfish! There are two species found throughout the south-west Victorian region: the Hairy Burrowing Crayfish (Engaeus sericatus) and the Portland Burrowing Crayfish (Engaeus strictifrons) which are both currently listed as Vulnerable under state legislation. It wasn’t until the recently wet winter, following several years of quite dry conditions, that we discovered colonies of the species’ characteristic ‘mud chimneys’ at the local East Street wetland, which the school and community have been revegetating with NGT’s help now for several years.
Students learnt all about the features of Engaeus, having the opportunity to sculpt the crays, their food or prey, their chimneys and their extensive underground burrows, as well as learn about the species importance in these soggy habitats and why we should work to protect and conserve them and their habitat.
We may even get the chance to do some further research in future at the wetland site to see which one of these two species are calling the site home! If you are interested in learning or utilising NGT’s Burrowing Crayfish School Education Resource Kit (which is fully curriculum-aligned), visit this address on our website, or give us a call!