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Geography Fun #1 Endangered Species

This is the first in a series of articles on integrating geography into your lessons. Some of these can be stand along activities, and some can easily be combined with literature units or other basic subjects (i.e., math, science, history, etc.).

Geography is the study of land masses and their physical features. But it is often what is on the land mass that makes it unique. For instance there are plants and animals that can be found only in one place in the world outside of a zoo or botanical garden.

Here is an activity for integrating Geography and Ecology.

1. Find out about one animal or plant species from each of the seven continents that is in danger of becoming extinct.
How many of the continents can you name? (Answer: North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia, Antarctica, Australia)
Can you find all the continents on a globe or flat map?

2. Find out why each of the plants or animals have become endangered.
Are there (a) economic reasons (are they hunted for their body parts or exterminated as a nuisance),
(b) ecological or environmental reasons (changing weather patterns),
(c) is their too much inbreeding because there are too few of them left (an example of this are some of the large, predator cats in Africa and India),
(d) some other reason,
(e) or a combination of reasons?

3. What can people living in the regions of the endangered plant or animal do to ensure its survival?

4. What can people from around the world do to help in the survival of these endangered species?

5. How might people from the major industrialized countries of the world affect the survival of these species, or affect the mindset of the people of the region where the plant or animal lives?

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