Why is biodiversity important? What are some of the benefits of biodiversity?
How is biodiversity measured?
What is extinction? What is causing it today?
What is the Endangered Species Act? What is it meant to do? (reflect on the economic consequences of the Act as we will be delving into the topic later on)
What are some of the most and least diverse species in your local area? Try the interactive map called the “Map of Life” developed by a research team from both Yale University and the University of Colorado Boulder. The link can be found at .
Select “Locations” from the menu bar at the top right. Once the map pulls up, you can select an area of interest to you. For instance, clicking on the state of Arizona the data should indicate the greatest diversity is found in bird species (394) and the least in palms (1).
Select an area of interest to you to describe in your essay. Copy and paste the chart area showing the most and least diverse species in your area (map of United States does not need to be copied, only the species chart). Were you surprised by the results? Why or why not.
Insects are the largest and most diverse group of organisms on Earth. Select one insect species from your local area (click on the insect species from the Map of Life to learn more) and describe its importance to humans (medicine, research, agriculture, aesthetics, etc). Include an image of your chosen insect within your essay.
What can you do as an individual to help slow the loss of biodiversity?
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