Establish Prior Knowledge
Call on students to share what they know about Western lowland gorillas. For more information, you may want to direct them to this National Geographic site:
http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/lowland-gorilla.html. Point out that the Western lowland gorilla is an endangered species. Have students suggest some reasons for the gorillas’ dwindling numbers. Point out that a number of conservation organizations have been working in the Republic of Congo to document the number of Western lowland gorillas. Tell students that the Bio Snapshot they are about to see describes what the researchers have found.
Have students view the Snapshot and read the synopsis. Have students work in small groups to research the following questions.
- How does a gorilla troop live?
- What is the bushmeat trade and how does it threaten the Western lowland gorilla?
- What is deforestation and how does it threaten the Western lowland gorilla?
- http://www.amnh.org/sciencebulletins/ (Bio visualization/Congo Land Cover August, 2004
- What diseases threaten the Western lowland gorilla?
- Have groups present their findings to the rest of the class. Discuss how the discovery of this new population of Western lowland gorillas might lead to the establishment of more protected areas