Earth Kids concentrated on Biodiversity during May – the month of Biological Diversity. The epitome of education in nature, for environment. The more we sit in Nature and admire her perfection, the more we will love her. We need to re-instill a respect for Nature that we take into the future.
What is Biodiversity?
- Biodiversity means all the living things on Earth.
- Biodiversity is the biggest things down to the very tiny things.
- Living things work together.
- Every living thing depends on another.
Biodiversity is a compound word: Bio is a Greek word. It means life. Diversity means many different kinds. Biodiversity means many different kinds of life.
Take a walk outside your home or open your window. Sit and listen. How many different animal sounds do you hear? If you live in a city you may hear cats, dogs, squirrels, bees, flies, mosquitoes and several different birds. If you live in the countryside you will probably hear more. List your sounds here. If you hear birds, try to identify which species they are; if you hear insects, try to identify them too.
Find out what one thing (ISSUE) that is harming nature in your neighbourhood. In Welcome Glen we know that the pollution of the Else River has a huge impact on the water quality, the animals that depend on the river, our dogs and our health. This water ends up in the wetland then in the ocean so affects everything in the catchment. The issue could be dumping, road building, developments, pollution, plastic, you name it. Are people using pesticides near you e.g. farms, wine farms, etc? Do a bit of research and find out what is going on around you.
Ecosystems and Food Webs
An ecosystem is a community of living and non-living things that are inter-connected. In a healthy ecosystem, the biodiversity is rich. Every living thing in the ecosystem interacts and all play a vital role to keep the system working.
The producers are the first group in an ecosystem. These are the green plants which make their own food using photosynthesis. They use energy from the sun and water in the soil.
The consumers eat the plants. This is the second group – animals that get their energy from eating producers or from eating animals that do. Consumers are herbivores or carnivores.
Decomposers, the third group, are animals or plants (such as fungi) that break down dead animals or plants into organic materials. These then return to, and enrich, the soil. This is known as a food chain, or a food web.
Food Webs – draw a food web based on an ecosystem in your area.
- Explain why humans are at the top of the food chain.
- Give 3 examples of producers.
- Give 3 examples of consumers
- What does a scavenger member of the food chain do?
- How is a food chain different from a food web?
Did you know that 17 countries are classified as Megabiodiverse? What does this mean? Megabiodiverse countries boast numerous and different indigenous and endemic animal and plant species.
The 17 megabiodiverse countries are: Australia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, South Africa, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, USA and Venezuela.
Give 5 reasons why South Africa is so MEGA BioDiverse? Draw something to illustrate this.
(Try this interactive activity! Click on the tabs at the top).
What is this picture above trying to tell us?
Look at this infographic below. Which threats do you think are the greatest to Biodiversity? Why do you say this?
Take Action to Save Biodiversity
Yes! You can start to make a difference! Take Action Now.
START – Read true stories about young people like you who made a difference. They saw an environmental issue in their neighbourhoods and managed to solve them. Research your area and your city and your province – make a list of all the environmental issues you can try to solve.
PREPARE YOURSELF – Go to libraries, museums or onto other “green” websites to find information on how to protect the environment. Find out more about other environmental organisations and individuals in your area and country.
GET HELP – Ask family, friends, teachers, mentors and youth leaders for help.
ACT! – If you notice an environmental problem in your neighbourhood, start to fix it. Don’t wait for others to get ready. Use your innate wisdom to help make the Earth a better place for all biodiversity.
Let’s Have a Party for Nature!
- Who will you invite to your Nature Party? (Think here in terms of Biodiversity – ants, scorpions, moss, mushrooms, frogs, etc – think of a food chain in a habitat you love. A habitat can be a grassland, wetland, ocean, mountain, forest, desert, etc).
- Where will the party be?
- What will be your theme for your party? (Anything you love: flowers, trees, cookies, even Minecraft!)
- What will you eat? Make something for real that you can share with us! It can be a green cake or a healthy smoothie or a vegetarian meal! We will share our creations on Skype!
- Which famous person will give the main speech? (Think in terms if Biodiversity – David Attenborough, Steve Irwin, or other?)
- What is your main message to all your guests at your Biodiversity party?
Do something to illustrate your party. A poster, a PowerPoint presentation, a painting, make something from nature or to do with your theme…