Camp Kawartha

Endangered and Invasive Species

When does a species become endangered, extirpated, threatened or vulnerable and what can we do to protect these animals from further decline? What happens when a species kept in check by natural predators is moved to an entirely new location? In this interactive program, you’ll find out how invasive species affect ecosystems, which animals are endangered in this area and how important cover, range and a diverse habitat are for animals. We’ll use games, activities and hands-on exploration to expose your students some of the complex issues involved in protecting wildlife.

Season Availability:Fall, Winter, Spring

Feel free to contact us about modifying any of our outdoor education programs to suit older or younger students.

Grade 4 : Science Curriculum Links *

Understanding Life Systems: Habitats and Communities

Overall Expectations
1.   analyse the effects of human activities on habitats and communities;
2.   investigate the interdependence of plants and animals within specific habitats and communities;
3.   demonstrate an understanding of habitats and communities and the relationships among the plants and animals that live in them.

Specific Expectations
1.1   analyse the positive and negative impacts of human interactions with natural habitats and communities (e.g., human dependence on natural materials), taking different perspectives into account (e.g., the perspectives of a housing developer, a family in need of housing, an ecologist), and evaluate ways of minimizing the negative impacts
1.2   identify reasons for the depletion or extinction of a plant or animal species (e.g., hunting, disease, invasive species, changes in or destruction of its habitat), evaluate the impacts on the rest of the natural community, and propose possible actions for preventing such
2.3   use scientific inquiry/research skills (see page 15) to investigate ways in which plants and animals in a community depend on features of their habitat to meet important needs
2.5   use appropriate science and technology vocabulary, including habitat, population, community, adaptation, and food chain, in oral and written communication
3.1   demonstrate an understanding of habitats as areas that provide plants and animals with the necessities of life
3.3   identify factors (e.g., availability of water or food, amount of light, type of weather) that affect the ability of plants and animals to survive in a specific habitat
3.4   demonstrate an understanding of a community as a group of interacting species sharing a common habitat (e.g., the life in a meadow or in a patch of forest)
3.8   explain why changes in the environment have a greater impact on specialized species than on generalized species (e.g., diminishing ice cover hampers the ability of polar bears to hunt seals, their main food source, and so the polar bear population in some areas is becoming less healthy and may begin to decrease; black bear habitat has been heavily disrupted by human encroachment, but because black bears are highly adaptable omnivores that eat everything from insects to garbage generated by humans, their numbers have been increasing)
3.9   demonstrate an understanding of why all habitats have limits to the number of plants and animals they can support
3.10   describe ways in which humans are dependent on natural habitats and communities

Grade 6 : Science Curriculum Links *

Understanding Life Systems: Biodiversity

Overall Expectations
1.   assess human impacts on biodiversity, and identify ways of preserving biodiversity;
2.   investigate the characteristics of living things, and classify diverse organisms according to specific characteristics;
3.   demonstrate an understanding of biodiversity, its contributions to the stability of natural systems, and its benefits to humans.

Specific Expectations
1.2   assess the benefits that human societies derive from biodiversity (e.g., thousands of products such as food, clothing, medicine, and building materials come from plants and animals) and the problems that occur when biodiversity is diminished
2.1   follow established safety procedures for outdoor activities and field work
2.3   use scientific inquiry/research skills (see page 15) to compare the characteristics of organisms within the plant or animal kingdoms
2.4   use appropriate science and technology vocabulary, including classification, biodiversity, natural community, interrelationships, vertebrate, invertebrate, stability, characteristics, and organism, in oral and written communication
3.2   demonstrate an understanding of biodiversity as the variety of life on earth, including variety within each species of plant and animal, among species of plants and animals in communities, and among communities and the physical landscapes that support them
3.3   describe ways in which biodiversity within species is important for maintaining the resilience of those species
3.4   describe ways in which biodiversity within and among communities is important for maintaining the resilience of these communities (e.g., having a variety of species of wheat allows for some part of the crop to survive adverse conditions)
3.5   describe interrelationships within species (e.g., wolves travel in packs to defend their territory, raise their cubs, and hunt large prey), between species and between species and their environment (e.g., algae and water lilies compete for sunlight in a pond), and explain how these interrelationships sustain biodiversity
3.7   explain how invasive species (e.g., zebra mussel, Asian longhorned beetle, purple loosestrife) reduce biodiversity in local environments

Grade 9 : Science Curriculum Links

Academic Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems

Overall Expectations
B1.   assess the impact of human activities on the sustainability of terrestrial and/or aquatic ecosystems, and evaluate the effectiveness of courses of action intended to remedy or mitigate negative impacts;
B3.   demonstrate an understanding of the dynamic nature of ecosystems, particularly in terms of ecological balance and the impact of human activity on the sustainability of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Specific Expectations
B2.1   use appropriate terminology related to sustainable ecosystems, including, but not limited to: bioaccumulation, biosphere, diversity, ecosystem, equilibrium, sustainability, sustainable use, protection, and watershed
B3.1   compare and contrast biotic and abiotic characteristics of sustainable and unsustainable terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems
B3.3   describe the limiting factors of ecosystems, and explain how these factors affect the carrying capacity of an ecosystem
B3.4   identify the earth’s four spheres (biosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere), and describe the relationship that must exist between these spheres if diversity and sustainability are to be maintained
B3.5   identify various factors related to human activity that have an impact on ecosystems, and explain how these factors affect the equilibrium and survival of ecosystems

Applied Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems and Human Activity

Overall Expectations
B1.   analyse the impact of human activity on terrestrial or aquatic ecosystems, and assess the effectiveness of selected initiatives related to environmental sustainability;
B2.   investigate some factors related to human activity that affect terrestrial or aquatic ecosystems, and describe the consequences that these factors have for the sustainability of these ecosystems;
B3.   demonstrate an understanding of characteristics of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, the interdependence within and between ecosystems, and the impact humans have on the sustainability of these ecosystems.

Specific Expectations
B2.1   use appropriate terminology related to sustainable ecosystems and human activity, including, but not limited to: biodiversity, biotic, ecosystem, equilibrium, species diversity, sustainability, and watershed
B2.2   investigate the characteristics and interactions of biotic and abiotic components of a terrestrial or aquatic ecosystem, and describe the importance of these components in a sustainable ecosystem
B3.4   identify the major limiting factors of ecosystems (e.g., nutrients, space, water, predators), and explain how these factors are related to the carrying capacity of an ecosystem
B3.5   identify some factors related to human activity that have an impact on ecosystems , and explain how these factors affect the equilibrium and survival of populations in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems

* Curriculum links & expectations for this program are based on “The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1-8: Science and Technology”