Amazing biodiversity in Borneo

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Amazing biodiversity in Borneo

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rainforestA couple of weeks ago, I posted about a new species of lizard being discovered in the Philippines.  It seems that this was just a minor find, as scientists in Borneo have recently discovered an amazing 123 new species, including the world’s largest insect – a stick insect 22 inches in length.  Here are some photographs of the animals that they discovered.

The scientists were working in the Heart of Borneo, an 85,000 square mile conservation area that was set up in 2007.  An animation that describes the conservation area can be found here.

Unfortunately, not all of the island’s forests are protected, and deforestation is still going on. Discussing deforestation is a great way of teaching about conservation and this PowerPoint presentation could be used as an introduction to a lesson on this.  The first slide asks students to think about why the forests are being cleared.  The second asks them to discuss global impacts of this.

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You could also use it for an interesting look at the carbon cycle.  This topic can be a bit dull, and relating it to a real-life situation makes it more interesting. Students can be given a copy of the carbon cycle, and be asked to highlight how destroying the rainforests could change the amount if atmospheric carbon dioxide, and why this is a problem.  The rainforests play a big role in sequestering carbon dioxide and destroying them, especially by burning, will increase atmospheric carbon dioxide.  This leads on to why this is a problem and climate changed could be touched upon.