Topic 1: Endangered Species
Although humans; like all other living creatures, have had to make changes, adjustments, and adapt to survive and thrive, it is humankind that has also had a profound impact on the lives of other creatures on Earth. Sometimes this has been a beneficial impact, but in many cases, it has been a disaster for other creatures.
Review the Discussion resources.
Using the Internet, your textbook or the Library, conduct some research on your own on an endangered species (plant or animal) of your choice. Consider the biological, ethical, and economic aspects that have led not only to its endangerment, but also the role humans have taken 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 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 humans 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 (plants, insects, amphibians, etc.) in addition to those more popular species many people tend to be fonder of, like whales, tigers, and pandas?
· 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?