Climate Change and Animals

Does climate change only matter to polar bears? In Climate Change and Animals students will discuss how our changing climate affects people and animals around the world. Using case studies of animals they can see in the zoo to illustrate each issue, students will investigate the different impacts of climate change on wildlife, and find out how they can take action to help.

Key Stage:  KS3 & 4 (Yr 7-11, 11-16 years old)

Duration: 45 minutes

Capacity: 35 students


National Curriculum and Examination Board Syllabi links:

KS3 Science

Earth and Atmosphere

  • The production of carbon dioxide by human activity and the impact on climate

KS3 English

Spoken English

  • Giving short speeches and presentations, expressing their own ideas and keeping to the point

KS3 Geography

Human and Physical Geography

  • Understand how human and physical processes interact to influence, and change landscapes, environments and the climate


  • Unit 1 Section A3 Global Climate Change

A3.1       Why is the Greenhouse Effect important for life on Earth?

A3.2       How may human activities change the climate?

A3.3       What are the potential effects of Global Climate Change?

A3.4       Can Global Climate Change be stopped?


  • Unit 1 Section A

Topic 2  Changing Climate

2.1 How and why climate has changed in the past?

2.2 What challenges might our future climate present us with?

WJEC GCSE Geography A

  • Unit 1 Theme 2: Climate change

What are the causes of and evidence for climate change?

What are the alternative futures?


Intended Learning Outcomes:

Students will be able to:

  • Explain how climate change is affected by human behaviour
  • Give three examples of impacts of climate change on animals
  • Change their behaviour to support positive action against climate change - turning off “standby” appliances                                                             

Many objects from the natural world used in this session are loaned to us by HM Revenue and Customs.


For this session

Before the session:

While at the zoo:

  • During the session we investigate the impact of climate change on several Zoo animals.  You may wish to visit some of these on your way around the Zoo:


Link to session

Location in the zoo

Ring tailed Lemurs

Madagascar endemic species

Base Camp – In with the Lemurs

Amur Tigers

Endangered species


Poison Arrow frogs

Amphibian crisis

Base Camp – Discovery Centre


Climate Change


After your visit:

  • Ask students to research the different actions people take to stop climate change.  In groups, choose one action, and design a poster or video that encourages others to help.

Climate Change Competition

Win a class prize from ZSL Whipsnade Zoo!

Complete the Climate Week trail around ZSL Whipsnade Zoo and hand in the completed worksheet for your chance to win*. The prize will include a ZSL Whipsnade Zoo Skype session (Live feed from an enclosure including a Q&A session with a zoo-keeper) and a Giraffe Adoption Package.

*Terms and conditions apply