Get your students to record the definitions (words in bold print) into their writing books.
Activity: Discuss this image with your students. How would life be without plants and animals? Would it be like the picture or would it be different? How would our lives be different? The theme to communicate to your students is that everything is interconnected.
Activity: Bundled Words. Ask students to think of and mark on the board 5 plants that you can eat, 5 plants that smell good, 5 animals you can eat.
Stress to your students that the definition of ecosystem is “A groups of living things (biotic) and non-living things (biotic) interacting together in a community.” Students get confused between the definitions of environment, ecosystems, community, population and habitat.
Get your students to identify from the list of ecosystem parts the abiotic and biotic factors. Abiotic: Soil, atmosphere, water, sunlight Biotic: Kangaroo, cactus, bacteria The abiotic and biotic factors rely on each other.
Activity: Get your students to think of a local animal and list all the resources it needs to survive. Some factors include food, water, shelter and mates.
Get your students to record the definitions of population and community.
Activity: Get your students to draw a simple food chain. Ensure the arrow points in the direction of energy flow. A good example is: grain chickens fox
When drawing a food web, each new level represents a new tropic level. Teachers can expand on this concept and teach students about consumers, producers and decomposers.
Activity: Discuss the images on this slide. Ask your students: what has happened in these pictures (drought, dying coral reefs, deforestation)? How do these pictures make your students feel? Where dp you think these pictures were taken (Murray River region, Coral Sea reef, Northern Australia)? How can these issues be repaired? Can they be repaired?
Activity: What are these animals? See the information below. Before telling your students what these animals are, ask them to think about what sorts of animals they think these are, where they might have lived and what they might have eaten. As homework or for further activities you could ask students to research these animals in more detail, or pick another extinct or endangered Australian bird or animal to research. 1. Pig Footed Bandicoot: The Pig-footed Bandicoot (Chaeropus ecaudatus) was a small, mostly herbivorous bandicoot of the arid and semi-arid plains of inland Australia, in NSW, NT, SA, VIC, WA. About the size of a kitten, in form, it was almost bilby-like on first sight, having long, slender limbs, large, pointed ears, and a long tail. On closer examination, however, it became apparent that the Pig-footed Bandicoot was very unusual for a marsupial. The forefeet had two functional toes with hoof-like nails, rather similar to a pig or deer. The hind feet had an enlarged fourth toe with a heavy claw shaped like a tiny horse's hoof, with the other toes being vestigial: only the fused second and third toes being useful, and that not for locomotion but for grooming. It was distributed through a wide range of habitat types: from grassy woodland and grassland plains to spinifex country. 2. White-footed Rabbit-rat: The White-footed Rabbit-rat (Conilurus albipes) is an extinct species of rodent, which was originally found in woodlands from Adelaide to Sydney, but became restricted to south-eastern Australia. It was kitten-sized and was one of Australia's largest native rodents. It was nocturnal and lived among trees. It made nests filled with leaves and possibly grass in the limbs of hollow eucalyptus trees. The last specimen was recorded at about 1845, but some were reported in 1856-57 and perhaps in the 1930s. Rats may have transmitted disease or competed directly with the white-footed rabbit rat. Cats may have been predators, while the demise of Aboriginal firestick farming, which maintained woodland, may have doomed the rabbit rat and its habitat. 3. Lesser Stick-nest Rat: The Lesser Stick-nest Rat or White-tipped Stick-nest Rat (Leporillus apicalis) lived in Southern inland Australia in NSW, NT, SA, VIC, WA. It accumulated large mounds of sticks to construct its nests, which were up to three metres long and a metre high. It was easily tamed, sometimes climbing onto tables to get sugar. It was also eaten by people. There is a possibility that a Lesser Stick-nest Rat was seen in a cave in Western Australia in 1970, and in 2008 IUCN Status for the Lesser Stick-nest Rat, has interestingly 'downgraded' their status from Extinct to Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct), owing to the very slight possibility that a very small population may still exist in yet to be surveyed remote lands of the Australian interior. 4. Tasmanian Tiger: The Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacinus cynocephalus) became extinct on the Australian mainland thousands of years before European settlement of the continent, but it survived on the island state of Tasmania along with several other endemic species, including the Tasmanian Devil. Intensive hunting encouraged by bounties is generally blamed for its extinction, but other contributory factors may have been disease, the introduction of dogs, and human encroachment into its habitat. Despite its official classification as extinct, sightings are still reported. 5. Gould's Mouse: The Gould ’s Mouse (Pseudomys gouldii) lived in eastern inland Australia in NSW, QLD, SA, VIC, WA. It was slightly smaller than a black rat, and quite social, living in small family groups that sheltered by day in a nest of soft, dry grass in a burrow. It usually dug burrows at a depth of 15 cm under bushes. Gould's mouse was common and widespread before European settlement, but disappeared rapidly after the 1840s, perhaps being exterminated by cats. Alternatively, it may have been out-competed by the introduced rats and mice, succumbed to introduced diseases or been affected by grazing stock and changed fire regimes. The last specimens were collected in 1856-57, and it is presumed to be extinct.
Get your students to log onto the ICUN Red List website
Activity: Ask your students to work in pairs or small groups to think of all they things that they can that harm our biodiversity. Allow several minutes, and then ask the class to share what they thought of, marking what the results on the board.
Activity: Ask your students to work in pairs or small groups to think of all they things that they can that help our biodiversity. Allow several minutes, and then ask the class to share what they thought of, marking what the results on the board.
Cool Australia Biodiveristy 7&8 Powerpoint Presentation
Year 7 & 8Biodiversity
The BBC found that themajority of people believebiodiversity is a type oflaundry detergent…
Our Biosphere…• The biosphere describes our living world, from the upper areas of the atmosphere to the depths of the ocean.• Biodiversity is a term to describe all the living organisms that make up the web of life on Earth. From a microscopic bacteria to a naked mole rat!
Activity: What would life be like without plants & animals?
We need high levelsof biodiversity forclean air, food, freshwater, clothes,energy, and formedicine.Without biodiversitylife for humanswould be both dulland dangerous!
The biosphere is far too big for scientists to study,so we study smaller things called ecosystems!
Ecosystems• Any group of living (biotic) and non- living (abiotic) things that are connected together in a self- sustaining way are called ecosystems.• An ecosystem can be as large as a desert or a lake or as small as a tree or a puddle!
Guess what? Everything in the natural world is connected.
Abiotic and Biotic factors in an ecosystem…What are the major parts of an ecosystem?All living parts of an ecosystem are known asBIOTIC. For example a bush or lizardAll non-living components of an ecosystem areABIOTIC. For example a rock or humidity.Sort the following ecosystem parts into abioticand biotic components.Soil, kangaroo, atmosphere, cactus, sunlight,water and bacteria.
HabitatsEcosystems are made up of habitats andmicro-habitats. A habitat is the placewhere an organism lives.A habitat will provide the organism withthe resources it needs for survival.
Populations and CommunitiesA population is a group of organisms ofthe same kind that live in the same area.Like a population of bees.A community can be described asdifferent species interacting in the samearea. Like bees, ants and daisies.
We can show how organismsconnect through food chains and food webs…..
Food webs/chains…• The arrow shows the flow of nutrients. The arrow points to where the energy goes too. Trophic level
Threats to BiodiversityHumans have been damaging our biosphereand ecosystems, which is effecting ourbiodiversity!What has happened in these pictures below?
Since European settlement, we have achieved the worstrecord of mammal extinction in the world! We arefragmenting the connections in our ecosystems.In Australia we are famous for our marsupials, but nowalmost half of them are either extinct or threatened withextinction!
The Sixth Mass Extinction• Many scientists believe that that we are in a period of mass extinction caused by humans.• Globally, humans have caused the extinction of a total of 86 flora and 723 fauna.
The International Union forConservation of Nature(ICUN) Red List is a globallist of threatened species.It divides up animals intocategories such as:•Vulnerable•Endangered•Critically Endangered•Extinct in the wild•Extinct
Although humans have been changing the Australianlandscape for 50,000 years or more, the changes in the last200 years have caused terrible loss of soil, vegetation andbiodiversity.This sounds bad! What on earth are we humans doing tocause all this?
Human Changes• Pollution: Pollution of our oceans, our air, our rivers and our land. Pollution from cars, industries, energy production, and manufacturing.• Over-fishing in our oceans has drastically reduced fish stocks, to the point of extinction in some cases.
• Feral plants and animals continue to cause devastation to native plant and animal communities, including those in our oceans.• Over-consumption: We’re simply buying and eating and consuming too much stuff!• Climate change will potentially cause further problems and threats to biodiversity.
• Habitat loss: We’ve been clearing or damaging the natural environment to make way for all the stuff that we need (like building houses, grazing sheep and cows, and growing food) that there aren’t many healthy habitats left for our native plants and animals. THEN NOW
• This can start to sound a lot like very bad news. But don’t worry; it’s not all bad. There are things that you can do to help stop the damage to biodiversity.• And there are lots of people who are already working hard to help protect and restore our biodiversity. But they do need your help. In fact, they need the help of everybody!• So what can you do?
Tips for helping biodiversity• Use less stuff!• Plant native plants in your garden - good for the birds, butterflies and bees, and good for the soil!• Pollute less by driving less, buying less and wasting less and thinking about what you’re flushing down the drain!• Buy organic fruit and veggies if you can - these haven’t been sprayed with chemicals that can harm biodiversity!• Lock up your pets at night - the night belongs to native animals!• Donate some time to vegetating or cleaning up a local wildlife park!• Choose sustainably harvested fish to have with your chips!• Spread the word!• For more tips and more information on biodiversity visit the Our Cool Australia site.