Save the Panda?

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A group research and discussion activity using the IUCN Red List database.

A group research and discussion activity using the IUCN Red List database.

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  • 1. Grade 10 Intro Physics& Environmental Science Student Name: _________________________Ecosystems & Populations Date: _______ Save the Panda: Is it worth it? Ecologists and presenter Chris Packham recently stirred controversy when he said that we might be better off letting giant pandas (Ailuropodamelanoleuca) go extinct. Watch a clip of him defending his comments here: (http://youtu.be/W4nFwAvZ0OI) and read the background debate here http://gu.com/p/2bxha. Goal: Learn more about conservation of endangered species in the context of the panda Role: A team of researchers communicating issues of conservation ecology to their peers Audience: Yourself, your group and teacher Scenario: How do we make decisions about conservation and human impacts? Product: An instant expert sheet (this one) on conservation to be shared and used for study 1. Is the panda best described as an example of keystone species or a flagship species? a. Distinguish between keystone and flagship species. b. Give two examples eachof: i. Keystone species ii. Flagship species 2. Put the panda into the search term on the IUCN website: http://www.iucnredlist.org/ a. Give the current best estimate of the panda population and describe its trend and IUCN Red List category. b. Distinguish between “Threatened” and “Endangered” categories. c. Identify the natural range of the panda. d. Give one other example each of: i. Endangered species in the same region(s) as the panda ii. Critically Endangered species in the same region(s) as the panda Panda logo: http:wwf.org See what action you can take
  • 2. Grade 10 Intro Physics& Environmental Science Student Name: _________________________Ecosystems & Populations Date: _______ e. Briefly describe the natural habitat and feeding relationships of the panda. Include its food/ energy sources and its trophic level. f. Outline some of the main sources of threat to the panda. 3. Summarise the two points of view on the panda debate. Discuss them as a group. Which side you fall on? Why? Save the Panda Let them go Extinct 4. Explain the benefits of whole-ecosystem conservation in terms of environmental, social and economical impacts. 5. Suggest methods that can be used to protect species and whole ecosystems. Panda logo: http:wwf.org See what action you can take