New search
download case
  • Overview
  • Teaching Notes
  • Answer Key
  • Comments/Replies

Threats to Biodiversity

A Case Study of Hawaiian Birds

Co Authors:

Sarah K. Huber
Department of Fisheries Science
The College of William & Mary

Paula P. Lemons
Division of Biological Sciences
University of Georgia


In this case study, students learn about introduced species and how they pose a threat to biodiversity by analyzing the impact of introduced species on the native bird populations of the Hawaiian Islands. Developed for an introductory biology course, the case could also be used in upper-level courses, such as ecology, conservation biology, evolution, biodiversity, and the biology of social issues, or in a non-majors biology course.

  • Learn what makes a certain introduced species more likely than another to become established in a new area.
  • Learn how introduced species can directly and indirectly affect endemic species.
  • Learn why certain endemic species (e.g., Hawaiian birds) are particularly vulnerable to introduced species.
  • Gain experience in data analysis and how collaboration contributes to studying complex biological problems
Keywords: Biodiversity; introduced species; exotic species; endemic species; habitat fragmentation; Hawaii
Topical Area: Scientific method
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Analysis (Issues), Jig-Saw, Student Presentations
Language: English
Subject Headings: Biology (General)   Ecology   Evolutionary Biology  
Date Posted: 06/28/02
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

Teaching Notes

Case teaching notes are intended to help teachers select and adopt a case. They typically include a summary of the case, teaching objectives, information about the intended audience and how the case may be taught, a case analysis or answer key, and references.

  Download Teaching Notes

Answer Key

Answer keys provide answers to the questions posed in a case study. Since these questions are intended to be answered by students and are often graded, answer keys are password-protected and access to them is limited to registered instructors.

  Register  |  Lost Your Password?

City State:
security code
Enter Security Code: