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Weniger's Collection of Moths

Episode:104Te Papa Collection:Natural Environment

Suggested curriculum levels:3 – 6

Curriculum connections:English: Listening, Reading, and Viewing, Science: Living World

Description:Anyone who has arrived in New Zealand through an airport knows they must not bring in any items that contain harmful pests. In the 1930s, though, one man brought a lot of dangerous insects into the country – through the post!

Questions for students

  1. Tell how the moth collection was put together. Use your own words, and explain why Weniger collected his moths in this way.
  2. What special characteristic of the moths meant that Weniger was able to get such good specimens?
  3. Explain how Weniger's moth collection helped to save Auckland from a major problem. What was the problem? How was it solved? What role did the moth collection play?
  4. Scientists use specialist vocabulary, and many of their words have become familiar to us. 'Biodiversity' is one example. Use the 'Words' response template to find examples in the Tale of scientific words. Find their derivations and what they mean.
  5. What other pests threaten New Zealand's environment? Research one pest, then write about how it came to New Zealand and what efforts have been made to get rid of it.

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