National Geographic
Photo Ark Challenge

Mission 3: Create a Conservation Plan

Photograph courtesy National Geographic Education

Come up with a plan to protect an animal you are passionate about and share it with the world.

  1. Research - choose an endangered animal that you are passionate about and determine why it is threatened. Find other similar situations and see what people are doing to try to solve the problem
  2. Develop - create a plan to protect this critical species and the habitat it calls home
  3. Present - present your plan, get feedback, and document the process so that others can learn

Mission Tips

  • When researching, gather information and provide a basic overview of the animal, including its geographic area, habitat range, diet, adaptations, etc.
  • Consider multiple threats such as habitat loss, direct threats from humans (hunting, poaching), disease, invasive species, etc.
  • Research what conservationists have done in the past. (This list of National Geographic Conservation Heroes is a great place to start.) What’s worked? Can you bring those successful elements into your own plan?

For Educators

Get students to think critically about conservation:

  • Establish “must have” criteria. Require that plans include answers to more nuanced issues such as the role of local communities, funding needs, and evaluation measurement.
  • Hypothesize the downstream effects of the plan. Guide students to think about the potential impacts of their plans and encourage them to come up with ways to mitigate the consequences.
  • Broaden the scope. Instead of guiding students to choose a specific species they want to protect, have them focus on protecting a habitat.
  • Check out the activity Threatened Animals and Their Habitats to help students learn about the connections between animals, their habitats, and threats to survival.

Send In Your Work

Before submitting, make sure you have the following ready:

  • A short summary of which Conservation Mission(s) you completed.
  • Photos, writings, presentations, and other documentation showcasing your mission solution(s) compiled into one file like a PowerPoint, video, or Word document.
  • Completed release forms (see the Challenge FAQ) if your videos and/or photos feature your or others' faces.
  • If you are submitting a video, make sure it follows the guidelines (see the Challenge FAQ) and is already uploaded to YouTube so you can share the link.

Students younger than 13 (as of December 31st, 2016) need a parent or teacher to submit on their behalf.

Other Missions

Picture of student with iPhone and GoPro

Mission 1: Tell a Conservation Story  

Create a portfolio that combines photography and writing to inspire others about animal conservation.

Mission 2: Advocate for Conservation

Mission 2: Advocate for Conservation  

Become a champion for conservation by advocating for an endangered animal or habitat.