Category Archives: Endangered Species

The Great Barrier Reef: An Obituary

The Great Barrier Reef: An Obituary. This haunting multimedia Guardian piece could be a perfect provocation for a unit.

The Great Barrier Reef: An Obituary. This haunting multimedia Guardian piece could be a perfect provocation for a unit.

 

Ending Overfishing Animation

This is a neat animation by The Black Fish (@theblackfishorg) on Ending Overfishing, highlighting issues of overfishing, bycatch, fish-farming and the tensions between science-recommended catches and econonmy-driven catch limits. It connects directly to the Population Ecology option topic.

 

Crash Course Ecology: 12 Videos with Hank Green

I’ve featured Hank Green’s Crash Course Biology here a number of times and many of his videos have been embedded into the topic pages for the IB Biology course around this site. Prolific as he is, his ‘Crash Course Ecology’ series has just finished, so here are 12 episodes that pull together elements of the the Core and Option topics (as well as a lot more).

The full playlist is here: Crash Course Ecology. It’ll take about as long as Avatar to get through it all, and you’ll learn more about environmental change, impacts and solutions.

Episode 1: The History of Life on Earth

The rest of the episodes are linked after the jump.

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Save the Panda? Group research, database and discussion task.

This task is based on Chris Packham’s comments on Panda conservation and is intended to give students an insight into conservation issues and use of the IUCN Red List database. Here is a quick news clip with him defending his comments, and the activity is embedded below.

By the end of this session, students should be able to:

  • Distinguish between keystone and flagship species, with examples of each
  • Access and use the IUCN Red List database
  • Appreciate that threats to one species often threaten other species in the same area
  • Discuss the benefits of whole-ecosystem conservation
…..o0O0o………

Once this is complete, watch one of these TED Talks on active conservation management techniques and their successes. Conservation really is inspiration!

Dan Barber: How I fell in love with a fish

John Kasaona: How rhino poachers became caretakers

Willie Smits: How we regrew a rainforest

Wow!

Astonish Me – the WWF at 50

Bill Nighy and Gemma Arterton star in this short film for the World Wildlife Fund.

Fifty years old in 2011, the World Wildlife Fund is at the forefront of conservation. Find out more about the work they do and how you can get involved at their website.

Stephen Fry and the Great American Oil Spill

“This turtle gonna go to rehab, to make its flippers go, go, go…*”

In a recent BBC documentary, Stephen Fry and Mark Carwardine head to the USA to see the damage and recovery from the Deepwater Horizon oilspill:

“Stephen Fry loves Louisiana. Four months after the BP oil spill, dubbed the worst ecological disaster in the history of America, Fry returns to the Deep South together with zoologist Mark Carwardine, to see what the impact has been on the people, the vast wetlands and the species that live there. What they find both surprises and divides the travelling duo.”

From the BBC Website (you might get it in your area)

Two more BBC YouTube clips: Has the oil really gone? and Damage to the deep-sea ecosystem.

 

BBC Special Report: Oil Spill

The BBC has a good set of resources on the BP Oil Spill, as do the Geographical Association and PBS News Hour Extra. More resources can be found at NewsroomAmerica and Associated Content.

The Deepwater Horizon spill would make a great foundation for an interdisciplinary science unit or Group 4 project, looking at ocean chemistry, waves and dispersal, remote sensing technologies, geological resources, ecology, marine biology and food chains, economics, politics, ethics and much more.

*Amy Winehouse, if you didn’t get it.

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The 11th Hour re-up: Human Impacts on Ecosystems

In 2007, Leonardo DiCaprio released his environmental call-to-arms, The 11th Hour. And it’s very good. It really knocks home the old proverb that we are not inheriting the Earth from our ancestors, but borrowing it from our children.

Update 2009: the whole film is available on GoogleVideo (as all good documentaries should be):

The movie contains contributions from the likes of Stephen Hawking, Nobel-winner Wangari Maathai and David Suzuki. Particularly useful is Gloria Flora‘s sentiment that we all vote, every day – even those who are too young to cast a ballot – by making informed choices about what we consume, spend our money on and throw away.

Watch It!

Watch It!

The first half of the movie is a talking-heads and imagery look at our impacts on the Earth, with plenty of soundbites and starting-points for further discussion. The political middle section describes how economic growth and interests are driving destruction. The final act is a great collection of ideas and hope – a call to arms and a realisation that the environmental movement is growing quickly and strongly. But is it going to be in time to save our species and the thousands that we drive to extinction each year?

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Now here’s Leo’s video message (including the ‘vote’ quote from Gloria Flora):

For some further reading, go to the 11th hour Action website.

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IB Biology students:

Here is a quick question sheet for the movie, linking some of the topics to the Ecology and Conservation option.

Higher Level students: pay attention to the parts about the role of trees in the environment, in particular through water-uptake. Also, do you understand how mycofiltration (using fungal mycelia) could be used to clean polluted soils?

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For good measure, here’s Linkin Park’s accompanying music video, What I’ve Done :

NOAA Environmental Visualisation Library

Education Resources, Animations, Videos and Satellite Images

Education Resources, Animations, Videos and Satellite Images

Awesome. NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) has revamped its Environmental visualisation libray – bringing new educational materials, visualisations, animations and resources to educators and the public. See the images of the 2008 hurricane season, animations of the ocean damage caused by humans or check out their library of satellite images.

They also have a YouTube channel where you can view and download some of their video resources. In relation to our upcoming Earth Day theme of “Reefs and Oceans“, here’s a clip about the effects of coral bleaching:

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Check out the NOAA image galleries too...

Check out the NOAA image galleries too...

ReefCheck – International Year of the Reef

2008 is International Year of the Reef (IYOR) and ReefCheck is an organisation devoted to monitoring and protecting the health of reefs around the world. As part of the IYOR activities, ReefCheck have released their Year of the Reef song, and you can see it on their site or on YouTube:

If you head over the to the ReefCheck.org website, you’ll find a wealth of great resources for education and action regarding the reefs. Particularly useful for students may be the WRAS (web reef advisory system), which is a collection of fact sheets on factors impacting reef ecology.

For people with a more active interest in the reefs (and for IB students interested in racking up some CAS credits), check out the EcoAction pages and see what is available there. You might want to get involved in the EcoMonitoring Program and take part in global reef research.

Also, if you hurry, you could get in on the action for the photo contest (closes 31st August).

One of the coolest things (for me, anyway) about ReefCheck is their presence on the Indies Trader, the vessel of the Quiksilver Crossing which is carrying world-class surfers around the globe searching for the best unsurfed waves on the planet. They also get to check out ‘untouched’ reefs in order to create a baseline against which they can compare the order of damage sustained by other reefs. To see some of their highlights, click here.

ActionFiguresTV has a tour of the Indies Trader here:

Now here’s Sebastian from the Little Mermaid singing the best Disney song ever:

The Great Turtle Race

Sea turtles make huge journeys across the Pacific, to and from egg-laying sites. Turtles laying eggs  in Indonesia paddle (and use currents) all the way to California to forage for jellyfish, and leatherbacks from Costa Rica travel right down to the south Pacific.

Some researchers have been using GPS technology to track migrations to see if their route is the same each year:

There is even an annual event called The Great Turtle Race (this year is the second – The Olympiad!)

Head on over to their website to find out more about sea turtle conservation and visit some of their links.

There’s even a flash game or two to play, or a sea turtle survival lesson from Bridge: National Marine Educators Association

And, of course, there is a facebook group devoted to the race.

This is all organised by the leatherback trust.

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