- Teaching Notes
- Supplemental Materials
Caribou Conservation Conundrum
Jalene M. LaMontagne
As a Government of Canada biologist, "Rachael Mercer" faces the task of advising the Environment Minister on whether a proposed wolf cull should be carried out to conserve threatened caribou populations in the Northern Alberta oilsands region. The Alberta oilsands are an internationally important economic region, but also contain critical habitat for the woodland caribou. Since caribou are endangered, the government is legally obligated to act. To help Rachel determine whether a wolf cull is wise, students examine four aspects of this problem: (1) caribou biology, (2) wolf biology, (3) the oilsands landscape, and (4) species interactions. Students use a jig-saw method to share and process knowledge gained from readings about these four topics. The implications of the management strategy are then analyzed and discussed. This case provides opportunities for students to evaluate a real-life management plan through integrating their knowledge of ecological concepts with primary research and government reports and discuss alternative ideas for management of an endangered species. The case was developed for use in a sophomore ecology course.
|Keywords:||Caribou; oilsands; conservation; landscape ecology; wolves; Alberta; Canada|
|Topical Area:||Ethics, Policy issues, Social issues|
|Educational Level:||High school, Undergraduate lower division|
|Subject Headings:||Ecology Wildlife Management Environmental Science Biology (General)|
|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.|
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
Background information and the context for this case are introduced in class using the attached PowerPoint presentation.