A WebQuest for 6-8th Grade (Science) Designed by Loris Chen, modified by Jessica Haapkyla 2014-04-15
Nassau groupers (Epinephelus striatus) live on coral reefs, rocky reefs and seagrass beds from Florida and the Bahamas throughout the Caribbean Sea. Their population is declining fast. The Nassau grouper is listed as “Endangered” on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is a candidate for the US Endangered Species List. It is estimated that its population has decreased by 60% over the last 30 years. Nassau groupers are protected in U.S. controlled waters including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Fishing for Nassau groupers in Bermuda is banned. Nassau grouper populations are continuing to decrease in prime spawning areas such as the reefs off Belize. Nassau groupers are economically important to many fisheries operating in the Caribbean. Therefore, its decreasing population is of great concern.
You are part of a team of specialists whose mission is to determine the best way to rebuild the Nassau grouper population. Your team has been invited to make a presentation at an international conference where other teams will be competing for project funding. Will your presentation earn your project funding?
Your task is to:
- Find out what has caused the decline in the Nassau grouper population in Belize.
- Investigate methods for reversing the declining population trend.
- Present a proposal that will increase and sustain Nassau grouper populations so that they do not become extinct.
Your presentation must include graphics and visual organizers. Presentations may be in the form of PowerPoint or overhead projector transparencies.
Credits & References
- Learn about the biology of the Nassau grouper at Bahamas National Trust: http://www.bnt.bs/UserFiles/HTMLEditor/nassaugrouper.pdf
- Read more about the biology and characteristics of the Nassau grouper on Oceana web site: http://oceana.org/en/explore/marine-wildlife/nassau-grouper
- Learn more on American Museum of Natural History’s web site: http://ncep.amnh.org/marine_simulation/grouper.html
- A detailed description of the Nassau grouper from NOAA: http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Gallery/Descript/NassauGrouper/tr146.pdf
- Learn about the status of the Nassau grouper in the US at NOAA Office of Protected Resources: http://www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/fish/nassaugrouper.htm
- Read about the status of Nassau groupers at IUCN Red List: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/7862/0
- Search OBIS portal to see the geographic distribution of the Nassau grouper at: http://iobis.org/mapper/
- Learn about Nassau groupers and their distribution on Fish Base: http://ambergriscaye.com/greenreef/prog-nassau.html
- Read about the morphology and life history of Nassau groupers at: http://ambergriscaye.com/reefbriefs/briefs73.html
- Read about a research programme on Nassau groupers in Belize: http://ambergriscaye.com/greenreef/prog-nassau.html
- Nassau grouper photos by Craig Dahlgren at NOAA http://www.nurp.noaa.gov/Spotlight/GrouperSpawning.htm
Follow these links to go to the rest of the lesson