Monday, December 7, 2009

SCIENCE NEWS FOR KIDS: Giving sharks safe homes

Scientists help to understand and protect sharks and coral reefs
Web edition : Thursday, November 19th, 2009

Being surrounded by sharks may not sound like great fun to most humans, but scientists say sharks are a good sign of ocean health. Enric Sala, a marine ecologist and National Geographic contributor recently went scuba diving at Kingman Reef, a newly protected area south of Hawaii now called the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument. He found an extremely healthy section of coral reef that is being protected by the U.S. Government. Think of it as a safe-haven for sea life. He was immediately surrounded by a large population of sharks, as hunting anything in this protected are is strictly forbidden. Sala, and many other marine biologists from around the world are working to set up other huge protected ocean areas in hopes of saving some of the planet's most incredible and important spots. Researchers estimate that about 90 percent of the ocean's top predators have been lost in recent decades because of fishing, and many shark species are so over fished they are in danger of extinction.

Classroom Connection: Research animals on the brink of extinction and create a plan to ensure the species survival. Endangered Species ThinkQuest: Let your kids take a virtual tour of the San Diego Zoo !!!

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