Ecosystems - 2nd Form Geography

As part of their work on ecosystems, 2T were given the task of researching a number of endangered species to better understand the impact of human beings on the environment. The class chose one animal each to research from a list compiled by the World Wildlife Fund. Each species was under threat of extinction, however the particular threat was often varied. Louise Rigby, Basil James and Sereina Mowlem all found that their chosen species (the sloth, red panda and spider monkey respectively) were all threatened by increasing deforestation. Without an abundance of trees many animals are without shelter and a sustainable food source - leading to dwindling numbers.

Many other species were also at risk from poachers, often for their pelts or for souvenirs. Charlie Mellor discovered that this was the case for arctic foxes, which are now fortunately increasing in number. The same cannot be said for the Asian elephant, however, as Molly Thomas discovered. Today there are less than 50,000 Asian elephants left in the wild as a result of deforestation and the ivory trade. Ironically, elephants are used by farmers to help clear these large tracts of land!

The class were really interested in the individual stories of these creatures and many were often surprised at the species that had made it on to the WWF's watchlist. "I didn't realise chimpanzees were endangered," noted Holly Pearce, "they always look so happy and cute!". Megan Giles commented on how seeing tigers in zoos makes people assume that everything is fine, when the reality is often very different. The class then looked at what measures can be taken to cut down the rate of extinction, or better yet, reverse it. Jacob Edwards stated that it is important for this to happen "so the generation after us can enjoy these animals".

Each student made a poster for their animal to raise awareness among the school; these were then put together as a display.