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About the Video Clip:

Video Clip Synopsis:
Australia’s far north Arnhem Land is patrolled by the wildlife ranger. In a remote and vast area of pristine natural beauty, the work ranges from tracking wildlife to rescuing baby turtles.

2min 59sec

Wildlife Ranger is an excerpt from the film Wildlife Ranger (19 mins), produced in 1979.

Wildlife Ranger: Set in the beautiful but isolated Kakadu National Park in the Northern Territory, Wildlife Ranger traces the duties and lifestyle of a national park ranger, including protection of and research into the diverse range of flora and fauna in the area. The program follows two rangers plying the boat along the waterways in the wet season to check out a remote rookery. This allows the viewer a close inspection of this unique environment, both at ground level and through breathtaking aerial photography. The northern monsoonal forests, grasslands and wildlife are shown in all their beauty, colour and diversity. The program also touches on the problems of remoteness from major towns, illustrated with the arrival of the fortnightly mail plane from Darwin.

Wildlife Ranger was produced by Film Australia.

Study Module

Curriculum Focus: Science
Year: 7-8
Strand: Life and living
Theme: Science Work

Key Concepts

Environment and habitat

Curriculum Applicability Notes

ACT:Working scientifically: investigating, Life and Living: living together, biodiversity, change and continuity
NSW:Science 4.8, 4.10, 5.4, 5.10
NT:Science Band 4: CC4.2; Band 5: CC5.2, WS5.3,
Qld:Life and Living 4.2, 4.3, 5.3, 6.3
SA:Life systems 4.5, 4.6, 5.5
Tas:World futures, Investigating the natural and constructed world, Creating sustainable futures
Vic:Biological Science 5.1, 5.2
WA:Learning outcomes: Life and living

Context / Background Information

Much of Australia's far north is tropical wilderness that falls within various National Parks. The Cobourg Peninsula is situated on the northwest corner of Arnhem Land and juts out into the Arafura Sea. The peninsula is part of the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park and is managed jointly by the traditional Aboriginal land owners and the Parks and Wildlife Commission of the Northern Territory. The wildlife ranger has a vast area to patrol. He has to patrol creeks for poaching of crocodiles, barramundi and birds and every couple of weeks he has to spend a night out in the open, alone in the elements.

Discussion Pointers

Discuss the meanings of the following words: wilderness, monsoon, national park.

Why do we have national parks and what rules exist for their use?

Suggested Classroom Activities

  1. Before watching the video clip, locate the Cobourg Peninsula and the Garig Gunak Barlu National Park on a map. Find the nearest township to the peninsula and the nearest capital city.
  2. The wildlife ranger looks after the animals and plants in the area, in particular the crocodiles and turtles that are shown. They belong to the same class of animals - the reptiles.
  3. Find out what features all reptiles have in common.
  4. Find out why reptiles are particularly well suited to living in warm climates.
  5. Research the life cycle of a crocodile and/or a sea turtle and present the information as a poster.
  6. This video clip was made in 1979, eight years after crocodiles became protected in the Northern Territory. In 2003 there was a proposal to reintroduce crocodile hunting on a limited basis as the population had increased from about 3,000 to 60,000. Debate the arguments for and against crocodile hunting.
  7. In March 2004, the Government was considering a proposal to put a cane toad fence across the Cobourg Peninsula. Research this further and explain why cane toads are a threat to the environment.

Modules That Use This Clip

Science Year 7-8, SOSE/HSIE Year 7-8, SOSE/HSIE Year 9-10