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Database Provider

Authors

The Kid Should See This, Hannah Fry

Grades

9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Biology

Resource Types

  • Videos, 1 minute, 45 seconds, CC
  • Articles and Websites

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - West, Utah

What is Rewilding?

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Synopsis
  • This short video clip from a longer episode on rewilding discusses the cascading negative effects of local extinction and the potential positive impacts of reintroducing keystone species, using the cougars from a Utah park as an example.
  • The video defines and describes the terms trophic cascade and keystone species.
  • The narrator describes a tropic cascade example in which cougars were threatened in a park in Utah, leading to the flourishing of deer populations and the subsequent detriment of greenery and animals that rely on that vegetation.
  • There is an article below the video that introduces the idea of rewilding, or using the tools of nature to heal itself, and it includes many links to resources that explore rewilding topics.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • The video has an overall hopeful tone, with the narrator describing the potential for repairing damaged ecosystems by reintroducing keystone species.
  • The interactive graphics help to visualize the concept of a trophic cascade.
  • The provided links are comprehensive and can serve as a launchpad for further exploring rewilding.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the concept of food chains.
  • Students should know some basic ecological terms such as species, ecosystem, food chain, and habitat.

Differentiation

  • Before watching the video, ask students to explain wild animals then guess what it may mean to rewild.
  • Be sure students understand the concept of a trophic cascade by drawing multiple examples of food chains on the board and then discussing what could happen if certain species' populations increase or decrease.
  • Consider having students pick an example of rewilding as a nature-based solution and have them make an artistic poster to present their findings.
  • Explore different examples of the reintroduction efforts of keystone species and the effects they have on the whole ecosystem.
Scientist Notes
This resource from The Kid Should See This introduces students to rewilding through an episode of the Bloomberg Originals series “The Future with Hannah Fry.” The video starts by defining a trophic cascade, where the removal of one species can have impacts throughout the food chain, using a case study of a declining cougar population in a Utah park in the early 1900s, which led to an increase in deer population, which in turn led to a sharp decline in plant diversity. Rather than falling into doom and gloom, the video then shows how the interconnectedness of the food chain is a strength, as introducing keystone species can positively impact the entire ecosystem. This resource features clear narration, clever illustrations of the food chain, and large, easily readable captions. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-3. Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among the management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-5. Evaluate competing design solutions for maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services.
      • HS-LS2-6. Evaluate claims, evidence, and reasoning that the complex interactions in ecosystems maintain relatively consistent numbers and types of organisms in stable conditions, but changing conditions may result in a new ecosystem.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • SL.ES.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
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