Topic 2: Wildlife Conservation

Additional resources and information about the Wildlife Conservation topic for the University of Adelaide Young Scientist of the Year video competition

As the human population grows, so too do our demands on the Earth’s available resources (e.g. food, water and land) and our impact on the environment, from pollution to climate change.

spotted quoll
The spotted-tailed quoll (Dasyurus maculatus) is listed as vulnerable. Image: Shutterstock

Of course, living sustainably and maintaining a clean and habitable environment is crucial for our own survival. Similarly, conserving Earth’s biodiversity is essential for keeping the ecosystems on which we all rely thriving. And all of that is in addition to our ethical responsibility to help our fellow inhabitants survive and thrive for their own sake.

Unfortunately, we aren’t doing a great job of that at the moment.

According to a 2019 report by the United Nations, a million species are currently threatened with extinction, while the WWF estimates up to 100,000 species could be being driven to extinction every year.

The UN report lists the main drivers behind this unprecedented species loss as being:

  • Changes in land and sea use,
  • Direct exploitation of organisms (think fishing, hunting, logging),
  • Climate change,
  • Pollution, and
  • Invasive species.

Your video challenge: 

  • Describe an animal that’s important to you, the threats it faces, and how scientists are working to conserve this species.
  • Explain your own ideas to improve on conservation for your chosen species.

Video resources

Start your research into this topic with these video resources: