Inquiry unit | Outdoor activity | Levels: 1-4: Use this resource to investigate animal pests in your school grounds or another local green space.

Download the resource

Investigating animal pests in your green space cover.

Investigating animal pests in your green space (PDF, 4,660K)


Google slideshow

Who's that animal pest?
Students can use the factsheets (above) to help solve the animal pest crimes outlined in this slideshow. Each case involves a different pest culprit.

Setting up tracking tunnel.
Setting up tracking tunnel
Image: Shan Walker

Learning outcomes

Using this resource students can:

  • gather and interpret data about animal pests living in a local green space
  • identify and learn about introduced pests and how they affect endemic and native plants and animals
  • begin to understand how animal pests have an impact on the environment and wider ecosystem.

Curriculum links

Level 1-4 Science

  • Living World: Planet Earth and Beyond Level 1 and 2: Interacting systems: Describe how natural features are changed and resources affected by natural events and human actions.
  • Living World: Ecology Level 3 and 4: Explain how living things are suited to their particular habitat and how they respond to changes, both natural and human-induced.
  • Nature of Science: Investigating in science, Communicating in science, Understanding about science, Participating and contributing. 

Science capabilities

  • Gather and interpret data
  • Use evidence
  • Critique evidence
  • Interpret representations
  • Engage with science

Level 1-4 Social Sciences

  • Level 1: Understand how the past is important to people.
  • Level 2: Understand how places influence people and people influence places; Understand how time and change affect people's lives.
  • Level 3: Understand how people make decisions about access to and use of resources.
  • Level 4: Understand that events have causes and effects.

English: Listening, Reading and Viewing

Maths: Statistics

Technology: Technological practice, Nature of technology

Learning sequence

  1. Introducing animal pests in your green space - Individual students have personal experiences to spark their interest in pests and start to think about impacts.
  2. Planning an investigation and learning more about animal pests in NZ - Start or continue a learning inquiry. Students reflect on knowledge and then ask questions about pests. They make predictions and plan an investigation to learn more about animal pests.
  3. Gathering and reflecting on data about animal pests in your green space- Monitor animal pests in your green space through constructing and placing a monitoring tool such as tracking tunnels.
  4. Extending thinking about animal pests- Continue the learning inquiry: Investigate patterns and themes and form new ideas about pests. Explore Maori perspectives.
  5. Sharing knowledge and next steps - Students share their findings with the community and then take the next steps in exploring their green spaces

Learning levels

  • Primary
  • Secondary 


  • Forests and green spaces
  • Pests and threats

Curriculum learning areas

  • Science
  • Social science
  • Education for sustainability
  • English
  • Maths and statistics


Webinars are available to view on the Science Learning Hub website. They use the Exploring your local environment resources to model how conservation education can support student inquiry into a local green space:

Special thanks to Science Learning Hub for partnering with us to deliver these fantastic webinars.


We would love to get your feedback about our resources so they are useful to you and your students - email and tell us what you think. 


If you have questions about these resources email

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