The Reduction of Biodiversity in Local Ecosystems


Ms. V. Espinoza

Gregorio Luperon High School for Science and Mathematics

9th Grade

Living Environment




Biodiversity can be defined as the different types of life in the world or in a particular habitat or ecosystem.  All organisms in the ecosystem, no matter how large or small, help to maintain a balanced ecosystem. We need biodiversity to satisfy basic needs like food, drinking water, fuel, shelter, and medicine.

Throughout the years, many species got extinct, therefore the planet is undergoing a massive loss of biodiversity.  Your class will analyze the problem on the reduction of biodiversity in local ecosystems and come up with some solution to the problem.


cat.jpg          TASK:

You are part of the non-profit organization, Nature Conservancy in New York City.  Your job is to investigate, analyze the decline of biodiversity in a local ecosystem and present possible solutions to the problem. By the end of your analysis you will create a Powerpoint presentation using the Public Policy Analyst steps to:


     choose a specific species that is endangered in a New York ecosystem

     investigate the reasons why the species is endangered

     propose one or more solutions that could help save the organism

     identify the obstacles that may prevent that solution from being implemented

     Identify possible solutions to overcome such obstacles.


process.jpg    PROCESS:

You will work in groups of four. Your teacher will assign you to a group. Each member will be responsible  for completing a different section of the assignment. Use the Public Policy Analyst steps to assist you in researching your presentation. For each of the PPA steps you must use the Internet sites listed in the RESOURCES section or conduct your own research to complete the worksheets.  These worksheets will then be used to create a Powerpoint Presentation.


  1. Define the problem - Worksheet # 1
  2. Gather evidence - Worksheet # 2
  3. Identify causes - Worksheet # 3
  4. Evaluate a policy - Worksheet # 4
  5. Develop solutions - Worksheet # 5
  6. Select the best solution - Worksheet # 6


Student Roles


Student 1: Describe the organism and define the problem


     Introduce the species that is endangered in a New York ecosystem, include the scientific name.

     Describe the ecosystem in which the organism inhabits.

     Describe the niche of the organism in its ecosystem.

     Explain how the loss of this species will impact the ecosystem.


Student 2: Gather Evidence and Identify the causes


     Investigate how the population have changed over the last century, include a graph that shows the changes.

     Explain man-made or natural factors that caused the organism to be endangered.

     Is the threat to the organism stabilizing, increasing or decreasing?


Student 3: Evaluate a policy and develop solutions


     What is being done to help the organism?

     Propose one or more solutions to save the organism.

     Identify the agencies that must get involved to help solve the problem and explain how they can help solve the problem.

     Explain how New York residents can get involved in order to help find a solution to the problem.


Student 4: Select the best solution


     Evaluate the feasibility of the proposed solution, is it realistic?

     Identify the different obstacles when implementing the solution.

     Explain how to overcome such obstacles and how can citizens get involved to help overcome the obstacles and make of the solution a success.


The Power Point presentation must be at least 8-12 slides.  Each student must contribute 2-3 slides.  Each member of the group will be responsible for presenting the information to the class.




The websites below will help you to complete the assignment, but you must also do your own research.


     Endangered Animal in New York

     List of Endangered species in New York

     New York Endangered Species

     Species in New York State

     Root Causes of Biodiversity Loss

     What Price Biodiversity?

     Department of Environmental Conservation


     Endangered Species in New York

     Parks recreation and historic preservation

     Department of environment conservation
















Powerpoint lacks graphics/visuals. Project is not attractive.

Graphics/visuals  do not seem to support the theme/content of the presentation.

Adequate graphics are incorporated, and the project is attractive.

Innovative use of graphics and animation contribute to a dynamic presentation.




Text - Font Choice and Formatting

Font formatting makes it difficult to read the material.

Font formatting has been carefully planned to enhance content, but is hard to read.

Font formatting has been carefully planned to enhance readability.

Font formats have been carefully planned to enhance readability and content.



 Sequencing of Information

There is no clear plan for the organization of information.

Some information is logically sequenced, but much of the presentation lacks structure.

Most information is clearly organized but some slides seem out of place.

Information is organized in a clear, logical way. It is easy to anticipate the type of material that might be on the next slide.



 Content - Accuracy

Content is typically confusing or contains numerous factual errors.

Content is generally correct but lacks detail.

Content is correct but is typically too detailed for a PowerPoint slide.

Content is correct and adequately explained.



 Verbal Presentation

Visual presentation lacks a verbal component.

Minimal information is presented verbally to enhance the PowerPoint presentation.

Adequate information is presented verbally to enhance the PowerPoint presentation.

Insightful verbal presentation makes for a dynamic audio-visual presentation.






Through researching and analyzing data you have learned about the loss of biodiversity in New York, its impact in the ecosystem and why it is a social problem that needs to be addressed. 

You analyzed the current policies and suggested some solutions to the problem using the PPA steps. Now, you are the expert, it is time to educate others.




Common Core Standards


WHST.9-10.6: Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.

WHST.9-10.5: Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.

WHST.9-10.7: Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

WHST.9-10.9: Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.


Living Environment Standards


(1.1d) The interdependence of organisms in an established ecosystem often results in approximate stability over hundreds and thousands of years. For example, as one population increases, it is held in check by one or more environmental factors or another species.

(6.2b) Biodiversity also ensures the availability of a rich variety of genetic material that may lead to future agricultural or medical discoveries with significant value to humankind. As diversity is lost, potential sources of these materials may be lost with it. 

(6.3a) The interrelationships and interdependencies of organisms affect the development of stable ecosystems.

(1.1f) Every population is linked, directly or indirectly, with many others in an ecosystem. Disruptions in the numbers and types of species and environmental changes can upset ecosystem stability.