Dieback warriors

Busselton Dunsborough Times
Year six student Jaimee McDonald participated in the Discovering Dieback Program.
Camera IconYear six student Jaimee McDonald participated in the Discovering Dieback Program. Credit: Supplied

Dunsborough Primary School students have been learning about the effects of dieback in the region, taking part in the Discovering Dieback Program with environmental scientist Bruno Rikkli.

About 11 students from Years 4-6 attended classes with Mr Rikkli, who is working alongside the Dieback Working Group to minimise the impact of dieback in the South West.

After the 10-week unit, students planned and prepared interactive activities, which they presented to more than 160 students from six different schools across the South West at the Kids Teaching Kids Conference in Bunbury last month.

Students also attended an excursion in which they injected phosphite into jarrah trees to help protect them from dieback infection.

Parasitology scientist Andrew Thompson also shared his expertise with the group of students.

Dunsborough Primary School science co-ordinators Nicola Petkovic and Stewart King said the unit taught students about healthy and unhealthy bushland, how to identify fungi, the lifecycle of phytophthora, native species which are susceptible to dieback, and the differences between jarrah and marri trees.

South West MLC Diane Evers also highlighted the silent danger of dieback across the region when she launched a Statewide conference in Perth last month.

The Greens MP flagged concerns for plant species in the South West and said more than 40 per cent of WA native plants were susceptible to dieback.

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