Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

      The PBS Patagonian Wildlife Conference

Instructional Objectives
Background Material
Web Resources

Topic: Species Survival in Patagonia

Instructional Objectives: Students will:

1. Participate in a mock PBS International Patagonian Wildlife Conference to establish a plan to save the wildlife of Patagonia.

2. Identify the problems facing wildlife in Patagonia.

3. Present the research on wildlife problems to the International Conference.

4. Identify solutions as to how to solve the problems facing wildlife in Patagonia.

5. Make resolutions at the conference and forward to world leaders.

Background Material:

Holding a conference is a real world method that scientists use to communicate on major issues facing mankind. At a conference, scientists share their ideas and their research with other scientists. They then debate, argue and decide whether the research has merit and change current thinking on issues. The purpose of conventions is to see what other scientists are doing, and if their practice has application to other scientists in a particular field.. It is also an opportunity to better understand issues and resolve conflict.

Issue oriented conferences are an opportunity for scientists to find solutions facing mankind and develop procedures to implement the solutions. Identifying problems and key issues, finding solutions and then implementing change is what moves the science community ahead.

(Source: Barber, Jacqueline; Bergman, Lincoln; Goodman, Jan M.; Hosoume, Kimi; Lipner, Linda; Sneider, Cary; Tucker, Laura; Insights and Outcomes, Assessments for Great Explorations in Math and Science, Lawrence Hall of Science, The Regents of the University of California, 1995).

Activity: The PBS International Patagonian Wildlife Conference

Materials Needed:

- Several books on Argentine wildlife
- PBS Living Edens web site on Patagonia for animal information
- World Wide Web sites on animals
- National Geographic Magazines
- Other animal publications
- World Wildlife Fund resources
- The Bronx Zoo resources for information on endangered species and repopulation of species
- Paper and pencil
- Student Science Journals


1. Students will research animals of Patagonia in cooperative groups of three or four. Be sure to collect information from previous lessons on animals of Patagonia.

2. Collect data on different species, including range and numbers, past and present and record in student science journals.

3. Investigate habitats and study problems associated with habitat loss.

4. Study wildlife repopulation/protection plans from United States Models. Contact zoos for repopulation plans for endangered species

5. Develop plans (Brainstorm in groups) on how to save current populations.

6. Write letters to the United Nations and/or the Argentine government expressing concern and submitting wildlife preservation plans and plans for reintroduction of endangered species.

7. Research organizations to contact on the World Wide Web.

Alternative Assessment/Evaluation:

Establish a rubric for the project and include, work habits, effort, content, presentation skills during conference, and letter to wildlife authority.

Elementary Extension:

Each cooperative group will study one or more animals of Patagonia and report back to class on their research. Choose animals from the PBS Video, The Living Edens: Patagonia

High School Extension:

Students will work in research teams of two, choose categories of mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians, marine vertebrates and invertebrates, and insects. Collect data and record in student science journals. Present research to class and forward plans for rebuilding wildlife populations to the United Nation, Argentine Government and international wildlife organizations.

Web Resources:

Wildlife Conservation society

National Geographic: Patagonia Penguins

Mountain Travel Sobek: Conservation in Patagonia