Feral Focus

Featured Activity: The big question

If a large marsupial carnivore such as the thylacine can become extinct over a relative short period of time, why can't we use similar methods to eradicate the red fox? More...

Student activities, interactive scenarios and further reading all reinforce several strands of learning including:

  • Life and Living
  • Working Scientifically
  • Science and Society
  • Science at Work
  • Sustainability of Life and Wise Resource Use
  • Time, Continuity and Change
  • Place and Space
  • Natural and Social Systems
  • Environments
  • Care of Places
  • Natural and Social Systems


Download the Teacher guide powerpoint presentation (6 Mb .pptx file). This is a ready to go presentation complete with notes if you want to use it in class. Other file formats below.

Teacher guide (6Mb .pptx file)
Teacher guide (6Mb .ppt file)
Teacher guide (500 Mb PDF)




  • Unit 1
  • Unit 2
  • Unit 3
  • Unit 4

The pest problem poster

Discover the destructive world of pest animals in Australia. Present your research in the form of a large format poster.

Understanding pests

Research specific characteristics of a pest animal and discover what exactly makes a pest animal a pest.

The great kangaroo debate

Work together in a roll play highlighting the diverse opinions of different people towards a native animal that is often perceived by some as a pest. Can everyone agree on a simple solution?

Feral pig - pest or resource

Can people profit from feral pigs, or are they just a destructive nuisance? Participate in this controversial and emotive debate.

A risky business - Giraffe

Assess the potential of giraffes becoming a pest in Australia. Submit a detailed report to Biosecurity Australia outlining the results of your research.

A risky business - American bobcat

Assess the potential of bobcats becoming a pest in Australia. Submit a detailed report to Biosecurity Australia outlining the results of your research.

A risky business - Rhesus monkey

Assess the potential of the escaped Rhesus monkeys becoming an established pest in Australia. Submit a detailed report to the National Vertebrate Pests Committee outlining the results of your research.

A risky business - Red-billed Quelea

Assess the potential of red-billed quelea becoming a pest in Australia. Submit a detailed report to Biosecurity Australia outlining the results of your research.

The big question

Think about it. If the Thylacine can become extinct, why can't we eradicate the fox?

Run Rabbit Run

Will we ever be free of feral rabbits? Discover the reasons behind our lack of success in eradicating rabbits from mainland Australia.

Peril Island (online activity)

Become a park ranger and attempt to restore a remote subantarctic island to its former glory by removing its pest animals.

The problem with carp

Help our river systems. Research the biology of European carp and then design a carp trap that won't disturb the native fish population.

Stop the raven raid (online activity)

Ravens are destroying your almond orchard and your livelihood. Choose a pest management solution that will best suit your needs, your bank balance and won't upset your hippy neighbours.

Endangered shorebird protection project (online activity)

Set in place a series of important recovery actions to guarantee the effective conservation of an endangered bird species before it becomes extinct.

Outsmarting the canefield rat (online activity)

Stop the ravenous Canefield Rat from ruining your sugarcane crop by manipulating its preferred habitat. Will owls and snakes help or hinder you?

River rescue (online activity)

Discover the variety of problems challenging an unhealthy river system and put in place actions to rehabilitate it and its native fish populations. It may not be as simple as blaming too many carp.

What is a Pest?

The word 'pest' is generally used to describe an animal that causes serious damage to a valued resource. Such a pest may be destructive, a nuisance, noisy or simply not wanted. A pest may be an animal that was originally introduced by humans to new lands - this is particularly the case in Australia. Or, it may be a native animal such as a kangaroo, possum or parrot.

It is important to note that people decide whether an animal is a pest. What is one person's pest may be a valuable resource to another. For example, recreational hunters and meat processors may regard the feral pig as a valued resource rather than a pest. Others believe that feral pigs are a threat to the environment and agriculture. Such diversity of opinion is one of the main reasons that pest control has had varying success. More...