How to use these training modules
Simply click on the group of organisms that you want to learn about from the choices to the right. In each module, you will learn how to identify various species from each group using sight and/or sound. Have fun finding out what that bird is singing outside your window on summer mornings, or that frog calling all night from the pond in your backyard. Each module also contains how these species are important to the functioning of ecosystems and how they help to meet our everyday human needs of freshwater and clean air.
Why are these species/ecosystems so important?
Sometimes it is easy to look at a wetland or stream and only see what they are on the surface, what we can see as humans. The truth is, these systems are constantly at work. The plants are continuously converting carbon dioxide into oxygen using the power of the sun, and the animals living with these plants act as links to transfer energy and nutrients throughout the ecosystem. Simply click on the group of organisms that you want to learn about and in each module, you will learn how these species/natural areas contribute to the health of our ecosystems. The provisions of ecosystems of this planet globally has been estimated to be between $16 – 54 trillion US dollars per year! (Rapport et al. TREE 1998), and this value must be considered an absolute minimum because we still do not fully understand ecosystems and their intricate frameworks.