Wildlife Trade: BUYER BEWARE!








 Student Projects




When you have gone somewhere on vacation, what kinds of things have you brought back?

Be sure to submit the online sign-off each day.

We've all heard of endangered species; now learn how illegal wildlife trade is impacting the survival of some species.

"Today, nearly a third of the world's wildlife is in danger of extinction, and a major cause, second only to habitat loss, is the illegal smuggling trade. Profit margins are high and the risk of getting caught is low--giving animal poachers plenty of room to move. Many of these animals being taken from the wild are now worth more dead than alive. And to collectors, often the more endangered a species is, the more valuable it is on the black market." The illegal trade in endangered species is estimated to be worth more than $5 billion per year in the U.S.

Check out these Confiscated Wildlife Products - Steve Hillebrand, USFWS

"Cargo for Conservation" (previously, "Suitcase for Survival") is a program of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. "It is designed to expedite the donation of a representative sampling of wildlife parts and products from the Lab's warehouse directly to the classroom. Shipments are made in zebra-striped boxes and include approximately 20 - 25 different items; such things as: elephant ivory (both raw and carved), reptile skins and products, sea turtle shell products, corals and sea shells and a variety of miscellaneous consumer products manufactured from animal parts." Requests are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. They say they have a long waiting list (see Ideas for Using "Cargo for Conservation").

Today, with the growing awareness of the role that science plays in our society, decision-making requires more information than ever before. This project uses principles of science to examine issues related to wildlife trade. Students work in small groups (2-3) on projects which give them the opportunity to understand the impact of illegal wildlife trade on endangered species, collect data from remote sources, and process that data to arrive at conceptual models of how decisions that students make impact on endangered species. Since the Internet, particularly the World Wide Web, provides up-to-the-minute information about our world, it is only natural that this resource be effectively utilized, hence the design of this project.

This home page is intended to serve as a starting point for your exploration of biodiversity. In effect, this is "command central" for the project. Your assignments, in-class exercises, and in some cases, your project reports, will be found through links from this springboard. You will also find forums (environmental groups, newsgroups, and listservs) for the exchange of information on a variety of perspectives regarding ways people use and value wildlife.

To learn more about how to make the most of your communications on the Internet, I strongly suggest that you read Arlene Rinaldi's The Net: User Guidelines and Netiquette.

Author: Shelly Peretz, Thornridge High School in Dolton, Illinois
Handbook of Engaged Learning Projects sponsored by Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory Education Office and Friends of Fermilab. Funded by the North Central Regional Technology in Education Consortium based at the North Central Regional Educational Laboratory (NCREL).
Created: July, 1997