The following two texts are supposed to show students that nature and wildlife conservation can be very controversial and often has to deal with ethical issues. This unit is designed to address the students critical thinking skills, as they will have to use the provided arguments to form their own opinion on the matter.
Pets and conservation
Most people don't realize the negative impacts that pets can have on wildlife. The material available below talks about the dangers pets can pose (release of pets into the wild, exotic pets) and how to avoid or reduce such dangers (responsible pet ownership). Furthermore, two additional texts deal with the problem of feral animals (especially on islands) and the hunting behavior of domestic cats, based on a study in Great Britain. These two texts are ideal for pair work - students can be separated into two groups, each of which will be assigned one of the texts. Afterwards, the students can be paired up so that each student has to inform the other about the most important aspects of their text (for example by playing the "Kugellager-game").
Hunting and conservation
The issue of hunting in itself is controversial enough, but many supporters of hunting stress its importance for nature conservation. The material provides a short introduction on hunting which can be copied onto an overhead transparency. After the introduction, students will read different interviews that argue for and against hunting. The fictitious interviewees come from Germany, Switzerland and the United States. Students will then be asked to discuss which arguments they find most convincing.