Students have just watched the Endangered Means There's Still Time slide presentation about the endangered species problem, causes, and efforts. Now they should answer questions based on what they learned from the presentation. Here are some possible answers to the questions.
1. What does “endangered” mean?
A species that is in immediate danger of becoming extinct and needs protection to survive.
2. What are three examples of endangered species? How did each of them become endangered?
Among the species shown in the presentation as endangered are: gray wolves (human loss, killing),
whooping cranes (wetlands loss), black-footed ferrets (habitat loss, food source loss—prairie dogs),
tigers (killing, poaching), manatees (human disturbance), and cory cactus (over harvesting). Other endangered species listed without specific reasons include black rhino, Lange’ s metalmark butterfly, and the pitcher plant.
3. What is the main reason most species become endangered? What are some other reasons?
In order, the main reasons are: (1) habitat loss, (2) unregulated or illegal killing or collection, (3) pesticides, pollution, (4) competition with other species, (5) disease, and (6) predation.
4. What are two examples of species that are endangered because something in their ecosystem was disturbed?
Among the species that are endangered because of ecosystem disturbance are: gray wolves [habitat loss, killing], whooping cranes [wetlands loss], black-footed ferrets [habitat loss, food source loss—prairie dogs], tigers [killing, poaching], manatees [human disturbance], and cory cactus [over harvesting].
5. Name two ways that wildlife biologists are working to save endangered species.
Among the many ways noted in the presentation are: (1) captive breeding, (2) reintroducing and restoring endangered populations, (3) monitoring and tracking species, (4) conserving habitats, and (5) research.
6. What are two species that are success stories brought back from the brink of extinction?
Bald eagles [banning DDT] and the American alligator [legal protection from killing].
7. What is an ecosystem?
All living things and their environment in an area of any size, linked together by energy and nutrient flow.
8. What can happen if one species becomes extinct?
One effect is that “the removal of one species can set off a chain reaction affecting other species, like the prairie dog and the black-footed ferret…It has been estimated that a disappearing plant can take with it up to 30 other species, including insects, higher animals, and even other plants. Endangered species are the fire alarms telling us that the living things being affected include us.”
9. What are some of the provisions of the Endangered Species Act (ESA)?
The ESA of 1973 established the national wildlife refuge system, which is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to overlook over 500 refuges with over 90 million acres for the conservation of endangered species, ecosystems, and natural diversity. The ESA and its scientists protect more than 900 species of plants and animals in the U.S., and more than 530 species worldwide. The act has made it illegal to import, export, or sell animals and plants on the list across state lines. It is also illegal to kill, harm, harass, possess, or take protected animals from the wild without a special permit.
10. How can you help?
Some of the ways to help include: learn as much as you can about the endangered species in your area; visit a nearby national wildlife refuge or nature center; volunteer to help; do not buy species that have been taken from the wild; do not buy products made of threatened and endangered wild animals.