Over the course of history, there have been a number of mass extinction events. Everyone is familiar with
the sad story of the dinosaurs – they ruled the earth then died out. There is also a background level of
extinction, with species naturally going extinct. However, we are now in the midst of a 6th mass extinction
event, this time caused by humans. Habitat destruction is a major threat to many, many species around the
globe. There are currently more tigers in captivity than in the wild. As the tropical rainforests are destroyed,
undiscovered species may go extinct without us ever knowing about them.
Your task in this assignment is to describe two threatened or endangered species (plant or animal), why
these species are at risk and what, if anything, is being done to prevent extinction.
Format Use the attachment to do the assignment. Paste the information into the blank boxes; don’t write
information in paragraph form. If most of the required information isn’t available for a species, then it’s best
to pick a different species.
Scientific names Scientific names are different from common names. A scientific name for a species is
based on its classification – what species is it related to, how does it fit in the grand order of life. The
common name for an organism may vary, but there is one scientific name. The common name for Canis
familiaris is dog (English), perro (Spanish), chó (Vietnamese), hund (Swedish) or 狗 (Chinese) but the
scientific name is always Canis familiaris.
Scientific names are distinguished from other names by being written in a specific format. This is
straightforward but sadly often done incorrectly. The genus name should be capitalized, the species name
should be lower case, and both should be either underlined or in italics. This distinguishes a scientific name
from a common name. Many colored starfish? That could be something different on the Great Barrier Reef
than on the Farallon Islands off the coast of northern California.