
See: Reading
and Writing Connections >>

Population Trends:
Pattens and Prediction
Imagine you are a scientist studying population of the caribou for the
last 48 years! What kinds of things can you learn from studying this table
of population numbers? Since the herd was first counted in 1979 the population
has fluctuated greatly..
Photo
courtesy of PCMB

What makes the herd change sizes every year? Take some time to study
the population graph at the right, grab your journals and think like
a population scientist while working towards understanding this complex
issue. Journaling Questions
 "What questions did the graph give
you about population size?"
 "What
was the largest and smallest herd sizes over the past 48 years (the
range)? What was their mean?"
 Do you see a pattern emerge? If so can you describe it?
 Can you predict what the population might be the next census?
 "What
factors could cause these changes in herd numbers? List as many different
factors as you can think of."
We asked Alaskan wildlife biologist, Dr. Stephen M. Arthur to explain
his thoughts about population changes. Take a look at his response to
the same questions. How did you do?
