Do some research on your own about an endangered species of your choice. It can be either a plant or an animal. Consider the biological, ethical, and economic aspects that have led to the endangerment as well as their role in protecting the species. Then, during the week, be sure to address the following:
• In a short paragraph (5-7 sentences) describe the species that you chose to learn more about and describe the basic reasons for its endangerment.
• What characteristics make some species more vulnerable to extinction, while others seem to thrive despite changes in their surroundings?
• How do the extinctions of other creatures affect humans directly and indirectly?
• Why are decisions about recovery and preservation of these creatures so complicated?
• What, if any, ethical responsibilities do we have to other creatures on the planet?
• What sorts of trade-offs would you be willing to make in order to help protect an endangered species? Would you make the same trade-offs for all types of species including plants, insects, amphibians, etc., in addition to those we tend to be more fond of, like whales, tigers, and koala bears?
• Later in the week, compare your chosen organism to some described by your classmates. Do they share any common features? For example: Are they endangered for the same reasons? Do they share similar habitats or behaviors?
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Global Warming, Frequently Asked Questions:
Carbon Cycling and Climate
National Wildlife Federation Home Page.
Locavores, an organization in California:
Eat Local Challenge, a blog focusing on local and sustainable food
Trefil, J., & Hazen, R.M. (2011). The Sciences: An integrated approach. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
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