There are thousands of species on the endangered species list and thousands more have become extinct. Use the natural fascination and awe of extinct and endangered animals to reinvigorate your imagination with these expository writing prompts on endangered or extinct species.
Prompt 1: The honeybee pollinates a third of the world’s food supply. The rusty patched bumblebee pollinates blueberries and apples. Both are disappearing and will affect the world’s food supply. In particular, the bumblebee, which used to be a common sight from the Eastern Seaboard to the Midwest, has virtually disappeared, with its populations as much as 95% smaller than it was just a few decades ago. So, for the first time, the United States is considering declaring the bee an endangered species. If they do, what impact do you think it will have on the bees? Can declaring something endangered save it? Can you think of anything we can do to help save the bees?
Prompt 2: What if a species, which was once considered to be extinct, was discovered to have survived? Write an account of the rediscovery of an animal once considered extinct.
Prompt 3: One day you woke up and discovered that you had been turned into an endangered or extinct species. Think about what species you have become and describe your life, your habitat, your daily rituals and what caused your endangered or extinct status.
Prompt 4: The polar bear’s existence is under threat due to many factors: illegal killings, pollution, and legal trade in skins and animal parts. But one of the largest threats to the polar bear is climate change. As the ice caps melt, there is less of their natural habitat to sustain them. What should be done to save the polar bear?
Prompt 5: There are only 100 Iberian lynx left in the world. Ten years ago there were 400. If they die out, they will be the first big cat to become extinct in over 9,000 years! The last big cat to die out was the sabre-tooth tiger. What should be done to protect the lynx?
Prompt 6: In the last 100 years, 97% of all the wild tigers have died out. There are only about 3,200 left. What should we do to save the tigers? What can YOU do?
Prompt 7: Choose an animal that is not endangered and write an article about it as if it were an endangered species.
Prompt 8: Think about an extinct species that you would like to bring back to life. Discuss the reason you would like to revive the species and what you would hope to learn about them.
Prompt 9: You work for a company that has the job of clearing an area for a future shopping mall. While cutting back the trees, you discover a nest of endangered birds. What should happen next? The cost of relocating the birds will cost too much and put the project behind schedule. Should the mall project stop anyway until they can be relocated? If so, what can you suggest to help make up the time and money lost?
Prompt 10: Your class has been discussing endangered species and how both humans and nature are affecting animal populations. Choose an endangered animal and discuss the reason it’s population is in decline. Be sure to also discuss possible solutions to help preserve the animal.
Prompt 11: Should we do our best to not let a species go extinct or should we follow the rule of natural selection? For example, if dinosaurs hadn’t died out, would humans have evolved? Would we be able to exist along side of them? If not, why do we try to prevent other species from dying out rather than allowing natural selection to take its course?
Prompt 12: The ivory-billed woodpecker was considered extinct until 2004 when there were some tentative sightings of them in Arkansas and Florida. They died out mostly because of habitat loss due to logging, and because of people who killed them for their feathers. Most of us have never heard of the ivory-billed woodpecker. So if it can be proved that there are some still in existence, what should be done to save them and why?
Prompt 13: Most species become extinct because of loss of habitat. One answer would be to place them in zoos where they could breed. But if enough of them are bred to save the species, where would they all live, since mankind has already destroyed their habitats? If enough are bred to save the species, then there will be too many for zoos to handle. Think of a potential solution to the problem of capturing and breeding endangered animals to save them from extinction and write an essay on it.