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Nature Nuggets

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Young Planet Champions

CHILDREN’S DAY SPECIAL EDITION

Today is Children’s Day, and a Sunday too! Isn’t that lucky?

Children have a special superpower—the power to affect change! And by harnessing this power, every child can become a champion for the planet. If you could use your superpower to make one change for nature, what would that be?

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Nature sustains us. We depend on it for our survival. But our relationship with nature runs far deeper and, in many ways, is linked to our very biology! Spending time in green spaces or experiencing nature, even if only by looking at a picture, is good for our physical and mental health and well-being. Watch this video to learn about the benefits of ‘forest bathing’.

Research also shows that people who experience a greater connection with nature are more likely to behave positively towards the environment. So, rediscovering or reaffirming our connection with nature could help us work towards our goals to conserve biodiversity and combat climate change.

You can connect with nature and champion the protection of our planet through the fun and interesting activities we’ve put together in this latest edition of Nature Nuggets. Try these on your own or with your friends. Don’t forget to share the fun with a picture on Facebook with #NatureNuggetsNovember as the hashtag!

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Go find green

Play a game of I Spy at a garden, park, or forested area in your city. Look around you carefully and count the shades of green on plants, colours on flowers, colours in the sky, or the shapes of clouds that you see. How high did you score? 

Level up by learning bird language and then play Hi Bye Birdy. Count the number of different bird calls you hear at a place. Do you know the calls of common birds such as the red-whiskered bulbul and the spotted dove?

Get your hands dirty

Did you know that gardening can be good for your health and the planet? Watch this video with your friends and start a garden project together. All you will need are a few containers or pots and some plants from a nursery. You can make your garden wildlife-friendly by choosing native flower and fruit plants that are the favourites of bees, birds, squirrels, bats, and other wildlife. Share a picture of your garden project with us on Facebook with #NatureNuggetsNovember or email it to us at edu@wwfindia.net.

Welcome wildlife

Collaborate with your neighbours to set up birdbaths, feeders with healthy foods, and nesting boxes of assorted sizes at safe spots around your neighbourhood for birds, squirrels, and other urban wildlife to use. You can also set up a bug hotel and toad hall in your neighbourhood park or garden to shelter these important animals.

Inspire through art

Since the earliest cave paintings, nature has inspired various forms of art. Art in turn has the power to inspire action for conservation. Create your own art and share it online to delight and inspire. You can sketch or paint, write poetry, take photographs, and so on. Skits, plays, and short videos are also powerful ways to convey a message. You can even make your own music by mixing wild animal voices.

Try this art project called Squares Squared with your friends or classmates. Each of you creates a biodiversity-themed mosaic on a square sheet of cardboard using tiny squares of coloured paper. Assemble the completed squares to make one big mosaic picture! Doesn’t this artwork show how every little effort can make a difference to the big picture?

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Common Name: Mimic Octopus

Scientific Name: Thaumoctopus mimicus

The mimic octopus was discovered off the coast of Sulawesi, Indonesia, in 1998. It is found in the shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific and has been spotted as far as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.

Pale brown and with brown and white stripes, this octopus may be the ultimate master of disguise. It can change its colour by expanding or contracting pigment-containing cells called chromatophores on its skin. While changing its colours allows the octopus to blend into its surroundings, the animal can also adjust the positions of its arms to mimic toxic species of animals such as the lionfish, sea snake, and flatfish. This mimicry helps the octopus deter predators while it searches for prey in open sand flats in the daylight. Amazingly, the octopus can switch strategies depending on which predator it encounters. For example, it mimics a sea snake only when it is troubled by damselfish, which are preyed on by sea snakes. Watch this video to see the mimic octopus in action.

Can you imitate any animals? Play a game of Creature Charades with your friends where you take turns to imitate the behaviour or calls of a unique animal.

Time to check your Nature Quotient!

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Several species of octopus have blue blood. Which substance in their blood is responsible for this phenomenon?

  1. Haemoglobin
  2. Haemocyanin
  3. Thrombin
  4. Alphaglobulin

Answer to be revealed in our next edition!

Previous edition answer: A baby puffin is called a puffling. The correct answer is c.

Congratulations to everyone who guessed it right!

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How often do you ask your parents to buy you new clothes? Before you go shopping next time, ask yourself “Do I truly need this? Will I use this three or six months from now? Will I use it only for the upcoming season?” Not only does the process of manufacturing clothes cause pollution, but discarded clothes also end up in landfills. Watch this video to understand the life cycle of a t-shirt. Become a Fashion Fixer and find ways to make your clothes last longer or to repurpose and recycle them. With an elder’s help, learn how to mend tears in your clothing so that you can use them for longer.

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This Children’s Day, WWF India brings you a conversation about elephants in children’s literature, why children are drawn to these gentle giants, and how children’s literature serves conservation. Tune in to the discussion with an eminent panel featuring pioneering environmental journalist and iconic Founding Editor of Sanctuary Asia, Bittu Sahgal in conversation with Vinod Rishi, the first Director of India’s national conservation initiative, Project Elephant, and Priya Krishnan, Senior Editor at the children’s publisher Tulika.

Block your date – 14 November 2021 at 05:00 PM

Register here – https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_3Ga08bmcSByoT-Gb01eCvA  

Join our Environment Education group on Facebook for the latest updates! Click here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/778975835966906 

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