The following are the learning objectives of the programme run in Marlborough.
The educational programme is made up of three stages.
Some schools have even taken things a step further and have ‘sponsored’ a falcon through fundraising efforts.
Fairhall School have sponsored ‘Swoop’ a male falcon who is part of the breeding programme. Rapaura School have sponsored ‘Dash’ and will also sponsor a falcon chick to be released into the wild. We are extremely impressed with the effort that the students and teachers at these schools have gone to and think that this is a very positive indication of the future of conservation in New Zealand.
Since establishing the education programme, we have visited schools from Picton to Kaikoura, and have met over 2,000 primary school pupils, all of whom have been thrilled with the chance to see such a rare and beautiful bird in person.
The reaction from students and teachers has been outstanding.
For the majority of students however, getting up close to a falcon was a once in a lifetime opportunity. Some have even gotten the chance to feed one, by presenting the falcon with a little piece of rabbit meat on their finger.
Even more exciting to many of the students, the falcons often manage to wait until they are inside of the classroom before expelling a ‘mute’ (falcon poo!). This easily-cleaned mess is considered to be extra good luck!
The Marlborough Falcon Conservation Trust is extremely proud of this educational model and the response from the students. They will move forward in life with a true appreciation of how special the New Zealand falcon is and how best to help increase their numbers.
One of the highlights to emerge from the educational programme has been the intense interest shown by students of all ages.
Not only have they been keen to complete the learning sectors, but they have also been keen to offer suggestions on how we can all help protect the endangered falcon.