In Wildlife Under Threat students examine the underworld of wildlife crime as we use real Customs seizures to reveal the devastating impact of hunting and exploitation on animal populations. Students will explore the factors which may contribute to the extinction of a species and look at the main driving forces behind hunting and the illegal wildlife trade by examining real objects from the natural world, on loan to Whipsnade Zoo from HM Revenue and Customs. They will be encouraged to discuss and debate some controversial statements about hunting, using the information provided. After exploring their own opinions, students will find out how ZSL is working to combat these issues around the world and shining the light on this growing problem.

Please note, some students may find certain hunted objects shocking.

Age: KS4 (14 - 16 years old)Duration: 45 minutesCapacity: 35 students Indoor workshop
White Rhino at Whipsnade Zoo

Intended learning outcomes:

Students will be able to:

  • Gain an understanding that hunting and the illegal wildlife trade are major threats to animals.
  • State some examples of animals that are endangered due to hunting.
  • Identify some of the reasons why animals are hunted
  • Gain an understanding that the reasons why people hunt animals are complex and varied, and that in order to conserve animals we need to understand these reasons
  • Gain an understanding of the work of ZSL in tackling hunting and wildlife trade, and what actions they can take action to help

Online Teaching Resources:

AQA GCSE Biology (8461) Specification Links
4.6 Inheritance, variation and evolution4.6.3 The development of understanding of genetics and evolution4.6.3.6 Extinction
  • Extinctions occur when there are no remaining individuals of a species still alive.
  • Students should be able to describe factors which may contribute to the extinction of a species.
4.7 Ecology4.7.3 Biodiversity and the effect of human interaction on ecosystems4.7.3.1 Biodiversity
  • The future of the human species on Earth relies on us maintaining a good level of biodiversity.
  • Many human activities are reducing biodiversity and only recently have measures been taken to try to stop this reduction. Land use
  • Humans reduce the amount of land available for other animals and plants by building, quarrying, farming and dumping waste. Deforestation
  • Large-scale deforestation in tropical areas has occurred to:
    • provide land for cattle and rice fields
    • grow crops for biofuels. Global warming
  • Students should be able to describe some of the biological consequences of global warming. Maintaining biodiversity
  • Scientists and concerned citizens have put in place programmes to reduce the negative effects of humans on ecosystems and biodiversity. These include:
    • breeding programmes for endangered species
    • protection and regeneration of rare habitats 
    • reduction of deforestation and carbon dioxide emissions by some governments
    • recycling resources rather than dumping waste in landfill
OCR GCSE (9-1) Gateway Science Biology A Specification links
Topic B6: Global challengesB6.1 Monitoring and maintaining the environment
  • B6.1b describe both positive and negative human interactions within ecosystems and explain their impact on biodiversity
  • B6.1c explain some of the benefits and challenges of maintaining local and global biodiversity
Edexcel GCSE (9-1) Biology Specification Links
Topic 9 – Ecosystems and material cycles
  • 9.9 Explain the positive and negative human interactions within ecosystems and their impacts on biodiversity, including: a fish farming b introduction of non-indigenous species c eutrophication
  • 9.10 Explain the benefits of maintaining local and global biodiversity, including the conservation of animal species and the impact of reforestation