Maya’s Mysteries: Wild for Nature’s Diversity

"Diversity is good for people—and the planet."

“Every created thing in the whole universe is but a door leading into His knowledge . . .” —Bahá’u’lláh


Science is like a treasure hunt. There are so many awesome things to discover! Scientists have listed about 1.5 million species of plants and animals on Earth. But we really have no idea how many there are. There could be 100 million!      

I’m doing my science project about biodiversity—the variety of life—in different parts of the world. Some places have an amazing number of species. But many of their habitats are threatened by climate change and other problems. The more we find out about species and ecosystems, the better chance we have of protecting animals and plants from going extinct.  

I’d love to visit all of these places around the world and find even more species.


                                       Bio Match

Check out these clues about biodiversity, and match them to their locations.


Alaska, U.S.      Brazil                            Greenland           Malaysia
Australia           Galapagos Islands       Madagascar        Saudi Arabia


1. About 90% of the plants and animals on this African island are found nowhere else—including the critically endangered silky sifaka lemur.

2. The world’s largest rainforest, home to about at least 10% of all species, is mostly in this South American country.

3. This island is 85% ice-covered, but it has the world’s largest national park, with walruses and snowy owls.

4. This state is home to about 20% of the world’s bald eagles and three kinds of bears: black, brown, and polar.

5. This land, east of Africa, is 95% desert, but has 2,250 species of flowering plants. Hundreds are used for medicine or food.

6. Over 80% of the plants, mammals, reptiles, and frogs on this island nation are found nowhere else, including the koala and the platypus.

7. This island chain west of Ecuador is home to penguins and tropical animals—including 11 species of giant tortoise, which live 100–150 years.

8. Forests cover over half of this country on the South China Sea, which has sun bears, wild pigs, tigers, and orangutans.  

For a printable version, download a PDF of this quiz

Answers: 1) Madagascar, 2) Brazil, 3) Greenland, 4) Alaska, U.S., 5) Saudi Arabia, 6) Australia, 7) Galapagos Islands, 8) Malaysia

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