Population biologists/ecologists rarely have the luxury of counting every organism in an ecosystem or biome, but they still have to try in order to monitor relative biodiversity or determine if a population is threatened or endangered. Today we simulated a popular sampling technique known as mark and recapture. While we used pretzel goldfish as tagged fish, in reality a typical fish tag looks more like this:

See the blue tag (click to enlarge)?

Image Source: http://www. greenalgaecontrol. com/GAC%20Private%20Lakes. html

Of course, we make some assumptions when we use this method. I think the professor that created this page does a nice job explaining the method and limitations of using it: Estimating the Size of Animal Populations (might be a useful read before finishing your lab write-up).

Finally, here is our class data for today. Please analyze it before reaching and writing your conclusion:

Class Data (click to enlarge)

Of course, I’m available by email if you have any questions. - W

Via:pdsblogs. org

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