2. What is Biodiversity? (Oct 7 - 21)


Biodiversity is defined as the variety of life in the world, or in a particular habitat or ecosystem. Each species has a role to play in the ecosystem. This role is called a niche, which is the role or function of the organism in an ecosystem. For example, a garden spider is a predator that hunts for prey among the plants. A shark’s niche is as a predator of other fish, maintaining the population size and health of fish lower down on the trophic pyramid.

The interconnection between species and their ecosystems creates a strong and resilient ecosystem in the face of change. This connection between biodiversity and humans provide us with many things that are taken for granted such as: clean air, water, and fertile soil, climate regulation, control of floods and other natural hazards, protection from pests and disease outbreaks, prescription drugs and traditional medicines, food security, and ecological and economic resilience. Biodiversity is the safety net that enables an ecosystem to survive and thrive in the face of change. 

Biological diversity and everything it provides is, in reality, our natural insurance policy in a world that is continually changing, often in dramatic and unpredictable ways.

Our knowledge of the natural world is restricted to what we have observed and recorded. The ocean covers 71% of the planet, and of that percentage, humans have only explored an estimated 5%. The only accurate way for us to know that change has occurred is to have records of the past.

Natural history museums provide valuable resources and experiences for the public to deepen their understanding of the natural world and science inquiry. Our knowledge of the past lives on and is still accessible through the Museums curated collections. By utilizing records patrons are better informed to make decisions about the future. Knowledge is a tool and, when used well, has a powerful influence on the future. All this and more can be enjoyed at a Natural History Museum.


  1. Exploring your local Natural History Museum... (We encourage you to answer these questions by going to the museum and exploring it in person!) 

       Create a Blog Post that starts by answering...

  • My local Natural History Museum is…
  • The biome my city belongs in is…
  • Some notable organisms from my local area are:
  • The biodiversity in my area is… (Strong/weak/failing/improving etc.)

2. Using the IUCN Red List, attempt to answer the question: What is the most endangered animal in your area? 

Adding  to the blog you started above,  think about these questions. You do not need to answer all of them - please choose 2 to expand on.

  • How did you approach this question?
  • What is wrong with the question?
  • What obstacles did you face trying to find the answer?
  • What did you notice was missing from the records?
  • Why are these records important?
  • Why do you feel this question could be important? Is it important?

Please read and comment on two or more Blogs to compare and contrast your ideas and deepen your understanding of our different perspectives in the group. 

Learning Objectives

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

  • #4: Quality education
  • #17: Partnership for the goals

Ocean Literacy Framework

  • #5: The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems
  • #6: The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected

Continue to 3. Exploring Canada’s 2020 Biodiversity Goals & Targets (Oct 21-28) »

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