Honolulu Zoo Society : Survival! Adaptations

Conservation and Preservation

Topic Overview

Begin the Lesson

Students will learn more about what happens to animals who are no longer adapted to their habitat as their habitats are drastically altered by humans. Climate change, habitat destruction, habitat fragmentation, and overuse of natural resources are all contributing to less and less natural environments of which so many wild animals depend upon.  Today there are increasing efforts to reverse the disastrous effects of human exploitation of the land through a variety of conservation and preservation programs.


Whole Class Introduction to the Lesson

You will need at least one computer with Internet connectivity and a projection device, a classroom with more than one computer, or access to a computer lab.  This introduction will take approximately 10 minutes to complete.

Project the following video clips for the class:

1.       http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/what-is-conservation-biology-definition-principles-quiz.html

2.       http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/land-degradation-and-habitat-fragmentation-the-environmental-impacts-of-industrialized-agriculture.html

3.       http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/habitat-fragmentation-metapopulations-and-wildlife-corridors.html


Sample Questions:

  • Brainstorm a list of natural resources that you use at home and school; write them on the board.
  • What are some ways that you and your family can improve the way you use natural resources?
  • How does human use of the land affect the wildlife?
  • How can humans better share the land with wildlife?

As part of the introduction, you may want to review some of the glossary terms in advance of students going online. At this point you can launch the WebLesson as whole-class activity using a projection device, or you can assign students to work individually or in teams in a computer lab.



WebLesson Sites
Our Earth is covered with vast amounts of water, soil, and trees. Its atmosphere is abundant with oxygen and other essential gases vital to supporting life. Trees and forests provide shelter to animals and wood to build homes.

We rely on natural resources in our everyday lives. Other animals and plants also rely on those same resources to survive. However, natural resources are at risk of being destroyed and depleted. Many habitats are quickly declining. Some sources suggest that the world's biodiversity has dropped by 30% since the 1970s.
Consider the city or town that you live in. Think about the streets, buildings, shopping centers, and factories. What was there before humans constructed these cities? How can humans make sure to find ways to share the land with the natural wildlife that depends upon natural habitats for survival?
Lesson Pages
Maggie’s Earth Adventures – a free multimedia program for those interested in promoting environ
Rich Media
Environmental Threats
Rich Media
Habitat Loss and Fragmentation
Rich Media
Hawaiis Birds Threatened by Invasive Predators, Habitat Loss
Rich Media
Coral Restoration
Rich Media
Hawaii Wildlife Fund - Audio/Video
Aloha Kanaloa Coalition
Rich Media
Conclusion & Project
Animals in the wild all live in a particular home with specific living conditions that they require in order to survive. The plants, other animals, temperatures, precipitation, ground quality are all important factors to these animals. Humans have moved in and taken over vast amounts of natural environments over the years. Human activities ranging from driving a car to large industries cause changes in climate that alter the planet’s temperatures, precipitation, and sea level. Thus important habitats are being wiped out.
Think about all of the ways that humans have caused habitat loss. Write a letter that you might publish in a town or city newspaper that explains to readers why it is important to preserve wild regions and conserve habitats. Make sure to explain what happens to the biodiversity when they lose their habitats.
artificial - produced by humans; not natural
calamities - event that brings terrible loss and lasting distress
carbon dioxide - colorless, odorless gas that does not burn; formed during respiration, burning, and organic decomposition; used in food refrigeration, carbonated beverages, fire extinguishers, and aerosols
circadian rhythm - pattern of when an animal sleeps or is active over the course of a day and night.
conserve - to use carefully or sparingly, avoiding waste; to protect from loss or harm; preserve
contamination - food, water, or land that is no longer safe for animals or humans to use due to waste, trash, or chemicals
debris - scattered remains of something broken or destroyed; rubble or wreckage
decimate - kill, destroy, or remove a large group of plants or animals
ecologist - a biologist who studies the relation between organisms and their environment
ecosystem - a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment
endangered - an animal that is seriously at risk of extinction
fauna - the animals of a particular region or period
fractured - broken up
frigate - warship larger than a destroyer and smaller than a cruiser; in this scenario, the sunken frigate has become an underwater sanctuary for marine animals
genetic diversity - the total number of different features passed from one generation to the next that a species can show
greenhouse effect - when the earth's atmosphere traps solar radiation, caused by the presence in the atmosphere of gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane that allow incoming sunlight to pass through but absorb heat radiated back from the earth's surface
greenhouse gas - gas that contributes to the greenhouse effect by absorbing infrared radiation
migration - the periodic passage of groups of animals from one region to another for feeding or breeding
nonnative - plants or animals that came from a part of the world other than where they are growing
nonrenewable resource - natural resource that cannot be re-made or re-grown (such as coal, petroleum and natural gas)
preservation - the activity of protecting something from loss or danger
renewable resource - any naturally occurring resource (such as water, wood or solar energy) that can be replenished naturally with the passage of time
resilient - able to recover from problems.
restoration - bringing something back to its former natural and clean and safe condition
shoal - sandy elevation of the bottom of a body of water
smog - form of air pollution which is a fog that has become mixed and polluted with smoke