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Witton Middle School



LO: Explore biodiversity


Last week, we saw that organisms will go extinct if they are not well adapted to their environment. This week, we will focus on why it is important to prevent extinctions and support biodiversity. You will do some research in order to write a paragraph to answer the question:

Why is it important to maintain biodiversity and how is this being achieved?


TASK ONE – why?

As you watch this video, make notes about why we need to maintain biodiversity.


TASK TWO – how?

One way that humans are ensuring we do not lose genetic data is by creating gene banks.

The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is one example:

  • Watch this video.
  • Read this interview with a scientist involved with this project

Read the article and answer these questions on a piece of paper or in a blank word document:

Paragraph 1 & 2

  • Identify 3 reasons gene banks are important

Paragraph 3 & 4

  • Name 3 gene banks

Paragraph 5 & 6

  • Why is it important to prevent ice crystals from forming?
  • How is this done?
  • What does “viable”mean?

Paragraph 7 & 8

  • After thawing, sperm from birds do not seem to work any more but sperm from mammals do work. Identify two hypotheses that scientists have suggested to explain this observation.

Paragraph 8 & 9

  • How are scientists trying to solve this problem?

Paragraph 10

  • Name six things that are stored in different gene banks.

TASK 3 - write

Write your paragraph:

Why is it important to maintain biodiversity and how is this being achieved?


Possible sentence starters. You can use as many or as few as you like:

  • It is imperative to maintain biodiversity because...
  • Humans benefit from biodiversity because...
  • In addition, there are ethical considerations: ......
  • In order to maintain biodiversity, scientists are....
  • Furthermore, the international scientific community is...