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Wildlife recognition

We are alive on a most astonishing planet.  But sometimes we just don’t see it.  How do we get to recognize what’s happening in the world around us?

It’s not easy.  In their book The Big Picture: Reflections on Science, Humanity, and a Quickly Changing Planet (2009) David Suzuki & Dave Taylor report on the following experiment.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge…asked 109 British schoolchildren (boys & girls) to identify creatures depicted on a series of 20 flashcards.  Ten cards depicted common British plants and wildlife – things like rabbits, badgers and oak trees.  The other ten cards showed Pokemon characters.

The researchers discovered that at the age of four, children could identify about 30% of wildlife and a handful of Pokemon.  But by the age of eight, children were identifying nearly 80% of Pokemon and barely half the wildlife species.

So, how good are we at recognizing what’s happening among our wildlife?  See if you can answer this one…

Below are 3 rats.  What are their names & where do they do the most damage to our ecology (pick one): to the forest birds; to the sea birds; to the settlement birds; or to the extinct birds.

If you’ve been playing our card game – you’ll already have seen them in action. Otherwise, answers in next week’s blog.

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