The BBC recently broadcast "Attenborough's Ark" in which David Attenborough selects 10 endanged animals he'd put on his ark to resdue for future generations. He makes his selections based on the species' interestingness or uniqueness, and his selections include the black lion tamarin and Sumartan rhino, as well as less familar animals like the solenodon and the olm.
What a great way to get students to think about endangered plants. I'd have teams of students create their own ark lists of 10 threatened plants to preserve for posterity, with justification, followed by a vote for best ark, based on diversity, novelty, rarity, interestingness, etc.
The video is available in the BBC site (in the UK) for a couple more days , and it seems to be on youtube as well.
Was asked to post links - the iplayer is only available in the UK (I think) and shows the full show, the link is here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01ntt8p/Natural_World_20122013_Attenboroughs_Ark_Natural_World_Special/
But, you also seem to be able to watch clips of the show here, and I'm pretty sure it's available worldwide (let me know if not...): http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p010x7ls
(How to train a quoll is brilliant - teaching tiny marsupials not to eat cane toads).
Down in the comments section of this post, Abigail Rumsey shares a link to the EDGE site, http://www.edgeofexistence.org/, "where species are identified for conservation by whether they are Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered" - great site, thanks! Its from the ZSL - Zoological Society of London.