Friends of the ecosystem
April 28 2014

Zambia has a total of approximately 779 bird species, 11 of which are globally threatened.  The children from Maunga Kids Club in Livingstone were learning about them recently, along with the important role these species play in the ecosystem.  During the lesson, they were taught that seed and fruit-eating birds help seed dispersal, while insect-eating birds control the density and population of insects.  They also learned about the African fish eagle, Zambia’s national bird, and the vital role it carries out to regulate fish populations in rivers and dams.

The lesson went on explore the relationship between insects and the ecosystem. The students were told that, even though bee stings are painful, this species is actually their friend.  By assisting in pollination, bees aid the growth of fruit crops, as well as the production of honey.  They also learned the benefits of another stinging insect, the wasp.  Parasitic wasps are increasingly used in agricultural pest control as they prey mostly on pest insects, but have little negative impact on crops.

Another successful lesson of the Kids Club, with time left over for some games outside at the end!

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