Educational Pond

Triops Santa Eularieta temporary pond as an educational resource for schoolchildren

One focus of the LIFE BASSES project (''Management and conservation of Mediterranean temporary ponds in Menorca'') is to disseminate and raise awareness of this important aquatic ecosystem for biodiversity, which often goes unnoticed by many for its discreet and unstable appearance Therefore, it’s important to have an environmental education facility for raising awareness without interfering with the fragile ecological dynamics of these natural habitats.

For this purpose a temporary pond was created in the Santa Eularieta farming estate in Es Mercadal, to be used as an outdoor educational facility. The site is devoted to leisure and education, as the Santa Eularieta estate belongs to the Island Council of Minorca and has the appropriate facilities to serve as a base for educational and environmental awareness activities.

The pool was excavated in early 2007 and is being colonized naturally by representative organisms of this habitat, so that, in turn, is an outdoor laboratory where we can study how such an ecosystem evolves over time. Interpretive panels have been installed to inform visitors about the importance of this habitat in the preservation of biodiversity, as well as showing them the ecological features of the ponds of Menorca.

On the other hand a specific teaching unit on temporary ponds has been edited which complements the field trip (it is available in pdf format in the ''publications'' section).

Balance of educational activities in 2009 and 2010:

Under the ''Salut Jove'' and ''Illa Escola” educative programs of the Consell Insular de Menorca, 16 groups of students, mostly from secondary school, made guided tours to the pond during the spring 2009. In total 252 students passed through the educative pond of Santa Eularieta.

In 2010 guided tours have been made with 15 groups of students (268 students in total). In 2011 241 students have visited the pond (14 groups).

The pond can be visited freely from the accomodation house of Santa Eularieta. Furthermore, guided tours by a technician of the project will be offered every spring.

For more information, visit the website of the ''Salut Jove'' program of the Island's Council of Menorca (http://salutjove.cime.es/).

Educational resources

You may watch the video ''Annual cycle of a temporary pond'' at the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQRX6ccZZeg