Classes at Warrnambool East Primary were attended instead by orange-bellied parrots, bent-wing bats and bilbies today as students learned about the importance of wildlife conservation.
Zoos Victoria teacher Genevieve Johnson said the school had been taking part in the 'Fighting Extinction' program and had established a native garden to provide habitat for local species.
"Many threatened species are poorly known or quite cryptic, so species like the bent-wing bat and the orange-bellied parrot don't get a lot of recognition," she said.
"Today the students have dressed up as these threatened species to help raise awareness and to communicate that message to the broader community.
"They've started here by creating native habitat too. For the most part humans have removed the native vegetation in this area, particularly the grasslands so they're taking steps towards re-planting it.
"We've been working with Warrnambool East Primary School for a long time on a range of different projects. We applied for funding from Landcare to establish the habitat here on school grounds to attract local species and also to support students to learn more about local wildlife and threatened species so they'll know what they can do to help."
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Pearson's nursery representative Michaella Clements said plants for the new garden were chosen with precision.
"We looked at a few of the local endangered species and put in some salt bush and atriplex because the orange-bellied parrot used to live and eat that as well," she said.
"We also planted lots of banksias and grasses and other little shrubs."
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