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TeachNetUSA: Crimes on the Great Lakes

Greedy Developers

When a species becomes endangered it is usually because the habitat where it lives or breeds is being destroyed.  There are four categories of a species in danger.  Threatened means that the population levels are getting low and if the trend continues the species will become extinct.  Endangered means that .  Extirpated means that the species is no longer in an area where it used to be, even though there are other populations living elsewhere.  Extinct means that there are no longer any members of that species remaining.  A special part of an ecological community is gone.  Each part of that community does a special job.  When that species is gone the community becomes weaker and out of balance.  The key to life on Earth is to have a wide variety of living organisms.  Each organism depends on other organisms and when a part of the support base of any species is weakened by the disappearance of another species the first species becomes weaker.

Using the information from the web find out information on five different species that are endangered or threatened on the Great Lakes.  Then create a letter using the letter format given that can be sent to different communities informing them that there is an endangered or threatened species in their area.  Let them know what they can do to help protect that species.  On the back of the letter shade in areas on the map where different species are endangered or threatened.  Use color coding to represent each species.

Species Scientific Name Status
Lake Erie Water Snake Nerodia sipedon insularum Endangered
Piping Plover Charadrius melodus  Endangered
Copperbelly Water Snake Nerodia erythrogaster neglecta Threatened
Prairie Fringed Orchids Platanthera leucophaea Threatened
Hine's Emerald Dragonfly Somatochlora hineana Endangered
Canada Lynx Lynx canadensis Threatened
Indianna Bat Myotis sodalis Endangered
Kirtland's Warbler Dendroica kirtlandii Endangered
Leedy's Roseroot Sedum integrifolium ssp. leedyi Threatened
Karner Blue Butterfly Lycaeides melissa samuelis Endangered

Return to Great Lakes Crimes

Success in your assignment will be determined on the following basis.

Scoring Rubric for Greedy Developers
Part of Assignment Excellent - 4 pts each Good - 3 pts each Fair - 2 pts each Poor - 1 point each
Species information Excellent infomation on all species Good information on all species Fair information on all species Poor information on all species
Locations on the map All species locations are plotted accurately Most of the species locations are plotted accurately Some of the species locations are plotted accurately None of the species locations are plotted accurately
Letter to the community Letters are very convincing  Letters are  convincing  Letters are somewhat convincing  Letters are not convincing 
Spelling and grammar There are few spelling or grammar errors There are some spelling or grammar errors There are a lot of spelling or grammar errors Spelling and grammar errors are very common
Finding Information Found all information as instructed Found information with some assistance Found information with a lot of assistance Could not find any information

The letter is to be addressed to the citizens of ___ community.  It should contain three parts.

Opening - explaining who you are and what your are doing.
Description - of what endangered or threatened species are near their community.
Explanation - of why the species are in danger.
Conclusion - describing how to help to protect these species from extinction.
Each of the species is located on the map in a different color.  The names of the cities and towns around the breeding grounds (animals) or habitats (plants) are printed.


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