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3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Geography

Resource Type

  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus


Biodiversity Hotspots

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  • This simple interactive map provides a global picture of biodiversity hotspots on land, with specific information for each location and an overview provided about the map data. 
  • Students will be able to zoom in and out, change the base map, click and drag the map to navigate, and add layers for biodiversity intactness and the number of amphibian and mammal species under threat. 
Teaching Tips


  • This map is easy to use and can be downloaded for use offline.
  • Students can use their critical thinking skills and geography knowledge to think about why certain areas of the Earth have more biodiversity than others.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The satellite base map will be very beneficial for students when thinking about the distribution of species on land.
  • There is a link to more information about biodiversity provided in the overview.


  • Geography classes could use this map to compare the locations of human cities and farmland to areas of high biodiversity.
  • Science and social studies classes could use this map to facilitate a discussion about ecosystem services, how natural ecosystems benefit humans, and why we should protect these important areas of biodiversity.
  • Younger students may need help connecting the geography of locations with their climate, so using a lesson or resource about the connections of latitude and continentality to climate could be helpful.
Scientist Notes
This map presents real-time information on the spatial distribution of biodiversity (flora and fauna), species richness, biodiversity loss, and threatened species. There is no contradiction in the datasets, this resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-6 Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-2 Construct an explanation that predicts patterns of interactions among organisms across multiple ecosystems.
    • LS3: Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits
      • 3-LS3-2 Use evidence to support the explanation that traits can be influenced by the environment.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • 3-LS4-2 Use evidence to construct an explanation for how the variations in characteristics among individuals of the same species may provide advantages in surviving, finding mates, and reproducing.
      • 3-LS4-3 Construct an argument with evidence that in a particular habitat some organisms can survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.10.6-8 Analyze the ways in which cultural and environmental characteristics vary among various regions of the world.
      • D2.Geo.10.3-5 Explain why environmental characteristics vary among different world regions.
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