This interactive module explores methods used to survey large animal populations, and what they have revealed about the current state of the African elephant population.
African elephants provide a powerful case study for how science can inform conservation. Knowing how many elephants are left and where they live is important in devising strategies to protect them. In this Click & Learn, students consider the advantages and disadvantages of different methods and approaches that scientists use to measure and monitor elephant populations.
The accompanying worksheet guides students’ exploration.
Student Learning Targets
Explain why elephants are considered a keystone species.
Describe the advantages and disadvantages of different survey methods.
Describe changes in the range and size of African elephant populations.
acoustic survey, aerial survey, dung, elephant, field ecology, keystone species, population, sample, species range, transection
HS-LS2.C, HS-LS2-2, HS-LS2-6, HS-LS4.D, HS-LS4-5; SEP4, SEP5
4.A.5, 4.B.3, 4.C.4; SP2, SP5
C.1, C.3, C.4, C.5
II.A, II.C, III.A, VII.C
3.1, 3.3, 3.4
Math.A-REI.3; MP2, MP3