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
ENE-4.B, ENE-4.C, SYI-1.G, SYI-3.F, SYI-3.G; SP4, SP5
C.1, C.3, C.4, C.5
Topic(s): 2.7, 3.2, 9.10
Learning Objectives & Practices: ERT-2.I, ERT-3.B, EIN-4, SP1, SP4, SP5, SP6
3.1, 3.3, 3.4
Math.A-REI.3; MP2, MP3