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Life on the Reef (ATOM study guide)

SKU: SG1170

    Life on the Reef presents natural history storytelling through the eyes of the people who live and work on the Great Barrier Reef. Three one-hour episodes feature Australia's greatest natural icon, the world's largest living structure and one of the richest and most complex natural ecosystems on Earth.

    The series takes the audience above and beneath the waters to show extraordinary marine habitats, ranging from coral reefs to tropical islands, shallow estuaries to deep oceanic waters, showing how nature adapts to the changing seasons throughout the year:

    • The winter months, when humpback whales arrive to calve in the warm tropical waters
    • Late spring, when mass coral spawning triggers the world's biggest simultaneous orgasm
    • The hot summer months, when tens of thousands of turtles arrive to nest at the world's biggest turtle rookery, and seabirds congregate en masse on the islands and coral cays to breed
    • The cyclone season, a time of danger and upheaval, showing the reef thrashed by a Category 5 cyclone that leaves a heartbreaking trail of destruction in its wake

    Over the course of a year, Life on the Reef follows rangers and marine park officers who work together with traditional owners, search-and-rescue crews, scientists and tourism operators to safeguard the reef and protect the millions of residents, tourists, divers and fishermen who visit the reef each year. It's a monumental task, with violent cyclonic weather, catastrophic crown-of-thorns starfish infestations, illegal commercial fishing and endangered sea turtles being just some of the challenges they face.

    This is a story of global importance. One of Australia's great environmental battles is underway on the Great Barrier Reef, which can be likened to Franklin Dam and Jabiluka in the past. This series presents an insider's perspective on what it means to balance the needs of our wild spaces with the needs of a growing population.

    Curriculum Applicability

    This guide is suitable for students in Years 5–10 studying Science, Geography and the Cross-Curriculum Priority of Sustainability.

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