• Endangered Species


  • Endangered Species

    Goal:
    Students will learn about endangered species and ways to preserve it.

    Grades:
    Grades: 7-12

    Time:
    During the course of several classroom meetings.

    Materials:
    List of endangered species in the region.

    Background:
    However rich in biodiversity, many species are increasingly endangered or threatened for survival in the Upper Tennessee Valley. The causes of these delines are complex, but three of the most important are habitat fragmentation, pollution (including siltation), and biological invasions resulting form human disturbance.

    Procedure:
    From the list with endangered species let every student pick one species to concentrate on. Let the students go to the library or internet to find informatinoon this species. As the following questions:

  • Where does the species live? What is its range? How many of the species exist?
  • How has the above changed over time?
  • How long has the species been endangered?
  • Why is it endangered?
  • How could we stop the species from becoming extinct?
  • Which groups are currently working to help save the species?
  • What can the class do to help save the species?
  • Why is it important for this species to survive?

    Ones all the information has been gathered, let the students present their information to the class briefly. Make a chart of the species the students which includes for example habitat, length of time endangered, reason why, and outlook for survival. Look for trends within the data. Find out what the class feels they can do to change the situation. Compile a list of actions people in the community could do to help the class preserve the species. Make the list available to the community.

    Additional Activity 1:
    Let the students create a new species which has the characteristics which could favor extinction. Do the same with a species which would resist extinction. How do these species compare to the existing species that are threatened?

    Additional Activity 2:
    Let the students team up and choose one of the species or subspecies which still Inhabited the Upper Tennessee Valley in 1800 but are now extinct:

    Eastern (woodland) bison
    Eastern Elk
    Passenger Pigeon
    Cariolina Parakeet
    Bachman's Warbler
    Harelip (rabbit-mouth) sucker

    Let the teams explore the reasons and causes of the extinction and make them present their findings to the group. Draw parallels with current extinction patterns. How many students heard of these species before? Do you think many people care about the fact that these species are gone? Will people in the future remember the species that die out today? What can we do to make people more aware of this?