Activity for From Ants to Grizzlies
This activity explores the concepts and research presented in the short film From Ants to Grizzlies: A General Rule for Saving Biodiversity, which explores the species-area relationship and its applications for conservation.
The species-area relationship is a general ecological principle, or “rule,” that describes how the number of species in a habitat changes with area. This film demonstrates how this knowledge has been applied to the conservation of protected areas and highlights the work of several scientists: Edward Wilson and Daniel Simberloff, who tested the species-area relationship on mangrove islands; Kellen Gilbert, who studied how this relationship applies to forest fragments in the Amazon; and Jodi Hilty and Whisper Camel-Means, who are working to connect the fragmented habitats of large mammals.
The “Student Handout” probes students’ understanding of the key concepts addressed in the film. The “Educator Materials” document provides suggested pause points in the film with questions for students, background information, and detailed discussion points; a list of related resources and references; and an answer key for the “Student Handout.”
Student Learning Targets
- Describe the species-area relationship and its implications for biodiversity.
- Apply the species-area relationship to both islands and fragmented habitats.
- Explain the role of wildlife corridors and crossing structures in supporting biodiversity.
- Interpret graphs and equations to make claims based on evidence.
biodiversity, equilibrium, habitat fragmentation, island biogeography, logarithmic scale, protected area, species-area relationship, wildlife corridor, wildlife crossing structure, Yellow to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y)
The resource is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. No rights are granted to use HHMI’s or BioInteractive’s names or logos independent from this Resource or in any derivative works.
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
HS-LS2-2, HS-LS2-6, HS-LS2-7
AP Biology 2019
IB Biology 2016
4.1, C.1, C.2, C.3, C.4
AP Environmental Science 2020
Topic(s): 2.1, 2.3, 9.10
IB Environmental Systems and Societies 2017
2.1, 2.2, 3.3, 3.4
Common Core 2010
Math.A-SSE.1, Math.A-SSE.3; MP2
Vision and Change 2009