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Lesson summary for:
Evo in the news: Conserving the kakapo

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Overview:
This news brief, from April 2006, chronicles how researchers are using evolutionary theory to guide their strategies for conserving a critically endangered parrot - with some impressive results!

Author/Source:
UC Museum of Paleontology

Grade level:
13-16

Time:
15 minutes

Teaching tips:
This article includes a set of discussion and extension questions for use in class. It also includes hints about related lessons that might be used in conjunction with this one. Get more tips for using Evo in the News articles in your classroom.

Concepts:
Correspondence to the Next Generation Science Standards is indicated in parentheses after each relevant concept. See our conceptual framework for details.

  • There is a fit between organisms and their environments, though not always a perfect fit.

  • Evolution results from natural selection acting upon genetic variation within a population.

  • Traits that confer an advantage may persist in the population and are called adaptations.

  • An individual’s fitness (or relative fitness) is the contribution that individual makes to the gene pool of the next generation relative to other individuals in the population.

  • Scientific knowledge is open to question and revision as we come up with new ideas and discover new evidence.

  • Scientists test their ideas using multiple lines of evidence.

  • As with other scientific disciplines, evolutionary biology has applications that factor into everyday life, for example in agriculture, biodiversity and conservation biology, and medicine and health.

Teacher background:

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