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Activity teacher notes 3.11

3.11 A global picture - parks in perspective

Levels: UP, S, SS
Focus curriculum areas: Society and history
Key concepts: Threatened wildlife issues, research. protection, dangers

students consult a map

Understanding goals

Students gain some appreciation of the big issues facing managers of protected land in other parts of the world.

You will need


1. Investigate the difficulties faced by park managers trying to look after wildlife, landscapes and visitors in a national park in another country, such as:



Photographs copyright Steve Johnson
  1. Using an atlas, locate the park you are investigating. Is it close to any large towns or a city?
  2. List some of the values of the park. What is the park famous for? Think about flora, fauna, cultural heritage, indigenous values, geology and landscapes.
  3. List at least two difficulties that the park managers may face. Look at the information about the park and think of some difficulties that may be related to these features of the park.

For example: If the park is one of the last refuges of the Bengal tiger, then protecting them from poachers may be a constant problem.

2. ‘People pressure’ is a big problem in parts of Africa, Asia and South America where many people have no homes or land. They see the resources within parks and feel pressure to take firewood, plants or animals to make money to survive and to support their families.

In pairs, take it in turns to be an Indigenous landless person talking to a park ranger. Discuss the following issues:

Indigenous person

  1. You want to collect shellfish from the shoreline of the park and to hunt wild boar and deer for meat.
  2. You want to fell the trees in the park to build a shelter to protect your family from the weather.
  3. Your family are hungry now – you don’t want to wait for a year for paperwork or political approvals.


  1. You may want to know how many people this person represents. How many in their extended family?
  2. How would you monitor or regulate any laws you enforce?
  3. What other avenues might there be for these local people to gain an income and land?

3. Read about the dangers facing many park rangers in other countries in Background note 3g - Risking their lives. If you haven't already, research one or two of the Useful links below. Compare and contrast some of the issues rangers overseas might face compared with rangers in Australia:

  • poaching
  • death by wild animals
  • local people wanting to move in
  • firewood stealing
  • timber cutting
  • mining
  • wildlife such as elephants, tigers, or wolves crossing park borders

4. Make a list of the issues for Australian parks. Make another list for issues in parks around the world.

  • Rate each issue according to how dangerous you think that issue is for rangers. (Low danger, medium, high, very high, very dangerous).
  • What measures can you think of to help solve these problems? List them and discuss in groups of four.

5. In groups, role-play various scenarios that happen in Australia.

Going further