In the study of animal behaviour it is critical to observe animals with as little disturbance as possible in order to get valid information. A blind is essential equipment for observing bird behaviour where the observer can gather data without affecting the observed bird, especially during the breeding season. From 2005 to 2008, 38 pairs of Asian Paradise Flycatchers (Terpsiphone paradisi L.). were observed during the breeding season (March to July) at Chiang Dao Wildlife Research Station, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. Fifteen nests were studied from observation blinds on the ground, 10 m away from the nesting trees, using a 15x–45x telescope and video camera to record parental behaviour for 12 hours per day. Observation blinds were made from bamboo and the foliage of the herb Etlingera littoralis (Kon.) Gise. (Zingiberaceae), which grows in abundance in the study area. In order to minimize disturbance to the birds' activities, blinds were built when nest-building was almost finished, and were placed parallel to the birds' regular flight approach pathways to the nests. None of the nesting pairs displayed anxiety when the observer was inside the blind and none of the nests were subsequently abandoned, so observations of the breeding cycle were possible. Of the 15 nests observed, eight nests had breeding success, the eggs in one nest were broken by a tree fall, and in the other 6 nests eggs or nestlings disappeared probably as a result of predators. Successful breeding cycles lasted 26–34 days, including 2–4 days of egg-laying, 14–18 days of incubation, and 10–12 days of parental care of nestlings. Blinds, made of natural materials, are effective in allowing observations of this bird and may also be useful for studying other birds.
Blood osmolality of the mud crab (Scylla serrata) and blue swimming crab (Portunus pelagicus) was examined 0, 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 24, 48, 72 and 96 hrs after transferred from seawater of salinity of 30 ppt to salinities of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 (control), 35 and 40 ppt at 25°C. Blood osmolality of both crab species reached to constant levels within 72 hrs. S. serrata survived for 96 hrs in all salinities tested whereas P. pelagicus survived for 96 hrs in salinities of 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 and 40 ppt but died 12 hrs after transferred into salinities of 5 and 10 ppt. Thus, the salinity ranges over which osmoregulation was performed efficiently were 5 - 40 ppt for S. serrata and 15 - 40 ppt for P. pelagicus. The results showed that S. serrata is a strong hyperosmotic regulator whereas P. pelagicus is an ordinary osmoconformer. This study could probably provide a laboratory model for teaching of osmotic regulation system for high school biology.
As a guest lecturer, I have been supporting the “Integrated Study” for the first grade students in Kawaguchi Junior High School for several years. The titles of my lectures in the recent three years are as follows: “Let's walk the promenades on the map of fantastic village, Kawaguchi” in 2008, “Let's explore the unexplored areas in Kawaguchi Village” in 2007, and “Let's make your nature trails in Kawaguchi Village” in 2006. At first, I gave my lecture on the culture and history of our home village Kawaguchi and its nature such as the low mountains, woods, rice fields, and rivers in the rural district of Kawaguchi. Furthermore, I taught students about wild birds, wild animals, and wild flowers in the nature of Kawaguchi Village. And then, students carried out research activities on various subjects in their community and reported their results by the end of second term.
In this paper, we analyzed the educational significance of “fish dissection” in elementary school science of Japan. Description of fish dissection has been decreasing in elementary school science textbooks in recent years, though the importance of “natural experience,” “experiential learning,” and the necessity of guidance to understand the “preciousness of life” has been proposed in science education in Japan. For the method of analysis, we investigated mainly the changes in teaching materials for “fish dissection” in the postwar textbooks, and also the notions of dissection and scientific concepts of sixth graders as well as their view of life through classes of “fish dissection.” We examined science textbooks published by four different textbook publishers on the basis of the Course of Study (CS) for Elementary Schools in Japan, which were revised in 1958, 1968, 1977, 1989 and 1998. The results of the study were as follows: Crucian carp (Carassius cuvieri) was described as one of the teaching materials for observations and experiments in all textbooks published based on the 1958 and 1968 revisions of the CS. There were, however, no teaching materials on “fish dissection” in any textbooks published by any companies based on the 1977 revision of the CS. “Fish dissection” was described as a reference in a unit in the textbooks published based on the 1989 and 1998 revisions of the CS by some of the four publishers. A questionnaire to the children after the class on “fish dissection” revealed the following facts: First, almost all of the children answered that the practice of fish dissection was good. Secondly, they had a variety of impressions or notions on life and seemed to realize the “preciousness of life”. The facts show the effectiveness of introducing “fish dissection” in elementary school science to let children realize the “preciousness of life”.
Indigenous Protected Areas (IPAs) are lands provided to and managed by Indigenous groups to promote biodiversity and cultural resource conservation in Australia. In November 1999 Victoria's first IPA was declared. Deen Maar occupies 453 ha in the State's south-west and was previously seriously degraded pastoral land that had been over-grazed and had many weeds and pests. However, Deen Maar also has extensive wetlands and saltmarshes that are of international conservation significance. The land also has deep cultural significance for local Indigenous peoples. Deen Maar is undergoing extensive revegetation. A biodiversity audit of the property has been conducted; this showed the property's importance for conservation of many threatened species. Bird hides have been built and accommodation for visitors established. IPAs must generate income; accordingly 12 wind turbines have been erected. As well, cropping occurs and cattle are grazed on improved pasture that has been fenced. The Indigenous owners of the land are keen for Deen Maar to be an educational resource and will be encouraging student visits and research projects. It thus represents a resource for environmental education within a culturally significant context. The United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development aims to “encourage changes in behaviour that will create a more sustainable future in terms of environmental integrity, economic viability, and a just society for present and future generations.” Deen Maar' goals are certainly in line with these sentiments.