Establish Prior Knowledge
Ask students to share what they know about caviar -- what it is, the fish that produce it, and where these fish live. If necessary, direct them to this website:
http://www1.american.edu/ted/sturgeon.htm - r1
Tell students that sturgeon, the fish that produce caviar, have been around for 250 million years, but today the species is close to extinction. The Snapshot they will view describes how biologists are using DNA as part of an effort to save this species.
Have students read the synopsis and view the Snapshot. Use the following questions to guide a class discussion.
- How has the sturgeons’ river habitat been diminished?
- What other practice threatens sturgeon in the Ural River?
- What steps have some countries taken to help protect sturgeon?
- How are conservation biologists identifying illegal imports?
Use the following question to wrap up your discussion:
- Do you think enforcing laws and reducing consumer demand for caviar will help sturgeon survive? Why or why not? What other steps do you think could be taken?