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
Accessibility Level (WCAG compliance)
HS-LS2.C, HS-LS2-2, HS-LS2-6, HS-LS4.D, HS-LS4-5; SEP4, SEP5
AP Biology (2019)
ENE-4.B, ENE-4.C, SYI-1.G, SYI-3.F, SYI-3.G; SP4, SP5
IB Biology (2016)
C.1, C.3, C.4, C.5
AP Environmental Science (2020)
Topic(s): 2.7, 3.2, 9.10
Learning Objectives & Practices: ERT-2.I, ERT-3.B, EIN-4, SP1, SP4, SP5, SP6
IB Environmental Systems and Societies (2017)
3.1, 3.3, 3.4
Common Core (2010)
Math.A-REI.3; MP2, MP3
Vision and Change (2009)