Whether you are looking to complete a class project or assignment, or longing to find out about exotic animals from around the globe there are plenty of websites out there for information. However, only a handful are thorough and engaging. Learning about nature is something that most children find entertaining as long as the activity does not look too much like a classroom. Following are ten excellent websites that will keep the attention of young people and also those that are young at heart. Even the most avid animal lover will find content of interest.
Global Alexa Rating: 1,030
Whenever anyone asks what first comes to mind regarding animals, nature and our planet the first thing that usually comes to mind is National Geographic. With over a century of focusing on awareness about our planet it is not surprising that they would be the most visited website and also the best developed. From the moment you hit the home page you are immersed in photographs and articles about everything this planet has to offer. One of the unique portions of this website is a section called Daily News which brings to attention current events and topics. Between watching the videos and viewing the photographs on the website one can be entranced for hours. Over 20,000 of the images on the site can be ordered as prints and gallery wrapped canvas. The images are well categorized so you can locate something by color, topic or more. National Geographic doesn’t stop with you just enjoying the world on your computer or on your wall, they also offer travel ideas and blogs so you can get out there and see the world for yourself. Sign up for their newsletter while you are there for regular updates.
Global Alexa Rating: 1,383
The main website for the Discovery Channel, this website is ideal as a jumping off point to their other websites as well including Animal Planet, Discovery Kids, HUB, Velocity, HowStuffWorks and more. The link for Discovery News is the place to go for news on tech, space, earth, history, animals, human and adventure. The remainder of the website is mostly videos and games pertaining to various Discovery television shows along with a place to shop including gear and gadgets. While not as in-depth educational as National Geographic, the games, adventure videos and various television episodes are entertaining.
Global Alexa Rating: 1,915
An easily navigated website with a browse section that gets you right where you want to be whether that is finding a show in the current season or locating everything about one particular animal or topic. There is a section available for educators that further allows teachers or even parents to pull up shows by grade level. Furthermore there is a section called Interactives & Extras that includes animal guides, games, interviews, maps, photo galleries and other interactive. There are two blog sections that have wonderful articles – the Bear blog (about bears of course!) and the Cloud blog (about wild horses). Nature is the most viewed documentary film series on public television in part because of the original content of their shows which makes them very useful for classroom use. This dedication to education is what makes this a very valuable website for those wanting nature content.
Global Alexa Rating: 3,091
The Nature Journal is published by Nature Publishing Group (npg) and this website is full of information about many facets of the world on which we live. The links that are found include the ability to browse publications for articles, look for nature jobs, find out about innovations, listen to podcasts, enter into databases for information, read blogs and find out about conferences. The main subjects that can be browsed are life sciences, physical sciences, chemistry, clinical practice and research and earth and environment. Generally speaking this website is more geared to older students. They also include regional websites that can be found in the publications area. This website is for the person wanting in depth information about a variety of nature topics rather than for just pure entertainment making it a great source for high school and university students or anyone that wants to learn more about nature.
Global Alexa Rating: 3,453
Science Daily is all about research and that fact makes this website a great tool for those looking to learn about new discoveries and breakthroughs. The site has two ways to look through the materials presented. One is to look for news, articles, videos, images and books. The other is to go by topic including health and medicine, mind and brain, plants and animals, earth and climate, space and time, matter and energy, computers and math, and fossils and ruins. The homepage gives you links to breaking news and the top news in each of the topics. One interesting area is called strange science news. There are a number of free subscriptions available for newsletters and newsfeeds. This is the perfect website for the nature minded individual or student that wants to know exactly what is going on in the world as it happens.
Global Alexa Rating: 47,483
ARKive is all about protecting the world’s endangered species by educating the public about the world’s species in general and then learning about why they should be protected. There is a section set up for education for those aged 5 to 18 with teaching resources and educational games, quizzes and activities. The site is set up by species as well as by geography which makes finding information easy. A section devoted to topics that affect conservation includes information about endangered species as well as newly discovered species. Under the species tab one can find out what species are extinct, critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable. Once you get to a section of species whether through the species tab or the geographical tab you can refine your search by group, area, topics, conservation status and when last updated. Very easy site to use for students, parents and instructors.
Global Alexa Rating: 54,494
The Nature Conservancy works not only in the United States but in more than 35 countries around the world to conserve habitats, wildlife and deal with urgent issues faced. The website while it is devoted to obtaining members to help their cause, they do include plenty for the person looking to better understand the problems our planet is currently facing. There are many well written blogs on the site that are informative and thought provoking. The photos and multimedia section includes amazing photographs and wallpapers. There is also a gift area in which you can give a gift where it is needed most such as buying a solar oven for a family in Haiti or help to provide clean water for an area that is lacking.
Global Alexa Rating: 68,527
For something to call itself an encyclopedia it must have a great deal of information – and this site is not overstating itself one bit. At the time of this review there were over 1.3 million pages, 68,000+ members, 5,600+ collections, 198 communities, over 1.8 million images and 253 content partners as part of the EOL. This is quite an accomplishment for a site that has only been around since 2008. With so much information constantly pouring in the website relies on a search engine to get you to the area you want to be rather than an intricate homepage. This might not appeal to the person that has little idea of what they want to learn about but it does make it a wonderful no-frills research site. For the person that likes to just jump around there is a band across the home page with six items that slowly change that get you to someplace random. Below that are two sections – EOL News and Community Activity. At the bottom there are a few links for learning about specific species and a section with some frequent questions. Though not a fancy website the wealth of information earns this website a place on the top ten.
Global Alexa Rating: 186,679
This is an interesting site to go visit every now and then to see the blogs and news articles about their various conservation methods. One can also subscribe to their newsletter. This is a site for those that are interested in protecting the planet and want to be an active part in doing so. At first glance on the home page one might not be inclined to step further into the website but that would be a huge mistake. The meat of the site is found by venturing into the areas called CI in Action and Blog. While almost hidden at the top of the page they take you to areas that are full of information about the efforts of CI and the difference they are making. You may not learn about specific things here but it is worth a look to better understand why protecting our planet is essential to mankind being able to call this planet home for generations to come.
Global Alexa Rating: 427,155
Although not the fanciest website it is a wealth of information about our planet’s endangered species and also new species. The site is set up with a section on the endangered species list, information on how you can help wildlife and top questions from students and readers about endangered species. The site is concerned about our earth’s problem of plummeting biodiversity as they put it and is involved in educating people about the growing problem. The site also includes links to interesting videos and articles about ecotourism. There are articles on the website that are interesting and educational.
So there you have the ten best websites to visit to find out about nature and protecting nature. Spend some time on each one to find those that are best suited to your objective, whether that is education, entertainment or answering the call to action on preserving the planet for future generations. Each site has great information and will allow you to see the world in a whole new way.