Getting their name from their burrowing behavior, gopher tortoises play a vital role as a keystone species in the sandhills ecosystem they call home. It’s here that we will see why these creatures have one the “dirtiest job” and explore the impact of significant habitat loss to the species and ecosystem. We’ll then follow a partnership between wildlife management and a university working to restore the gopher tortoise population in the sandhills region.
- 3-LS1-1. Develop and use models to describe how organisms change in predictable patterns during their unique and diverse life cycles.
- 3-LS3-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence that plants and animals have inherited traits that vary within a group of similar organisms.
- 3-LS4-2. Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in traits among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving and producing offspring.
- 3-LS4-3. Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can thrive, struggle to survive, or fail to survive.
- 3-LS4-4. Make a claim about the effectiveness of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and affects organisms living there.
- 7-LS2-1. Analyze and interpret data to provide evidence for the effects of resource availability on organisms and populations of organisms in an ecosystem
- 7-LS2-2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.