# Estimating the Red Wolf Population – Lab Report Example

Assignment: SCI103 Phase 2 Lab Report Estimating the Red Wolf Population INSTRUCTIONS: Enter the Virtual Lab and gather information from the field. Please type your answers on this form. When your lab report is complete, submit it to the Submitted Assignments area of the Virtual Classroom.
Part I – Answer the following questions while in the Phase 2 lab environment.
Section 1 (Smaller Population Estimation) – One year ago, you set up your first trap area and caught four red wolves. Each one of the wolves was marked with a white collar. It is now one year later and you have set up six trap areas. Visit these areas and record the total number of re-captured wolves as well as how many are marked with white collars.
Use the following equation when asked to calculate population estimates for the area:
Population Estimate = (Total number re-captured) X (Number marked initially)
(Total number re-captured with mark)
1. How many red wolves were initially trapped, marked, and then released last year?
There were four red wolves that were initially trapped, marked and captured last year.
Total re-captured wolves
Total re-captured with collars
Trap Area 1
2
1
Trap Area 2
3
0
Trap Area 3
2
1
Trap Area 4
1
0
Trap Area 5
0
0
Trap Area 6
3
0
Totals
11
2
2. What was the total number of re-captured red wolves from areas 1 to 6?
The total number of re-captured wolves from areas 1 to 6 was 11.
3. What was the total number of marked red wolves (re-captured with white collars) from areas 1 to 6?
The total number of marked red wolves from areas 1 to 6 was 2.
4. Using the provided equation, calculate the population estimate for the geographical area:
Population Estimate = (Total number re-captured) X (Number marked initially)
(Total number re-captured with mark)
Population Estimate=11×4
2
=44/2
= 22 red wolves
5. The actual population size is 22 red wolves. How did your calculated estimate compare with the actual population size revealed here?
My calculated estimate was precise since it corresponded with the actual number of red wolves in the park.
Section 2 (Larger Population Estimation) – One year ago, you set up your first trap area and caught fifteen red wolves. Each one of the wolves was marked with a white collar. It is now one year later and you have set up ten trap areas. Visit these areas and record your results.
6. How many red wolves were initially trapped, marked, and then released last year?
Fifteen wolves were trapped, marked and released last year.
Total re-captured wolves
Total re-captured with collars
Trap Area 1
11
0
Trap Area 2
6
3
Trap Area 3
7
1
Trap Area 4
6
2
Trap Area 5
8
0
Trap Area 6
8
2
Trap Area 7
8
0
Trap Area 8
10
2
Trap Area 9
7
1
Trap Area 10
12
3
Totals
83
14
7. What was the total number of re-captured red wolves from areas 1 to 10?
The total number of re-captured wolves from areas 1 to 10 was 83.
8. What was the total number of marked red wolves (re-captured with white collars) from areas 1 to 10?
The total number of marked red wolves from areas 1 to 10 was 14.
9. Using the equation provided, calculate the population estimate for the geographical area:
Population Estimate = (Total number re-captured) X (Number marked initially)
(Total number re-captured with mark)
Population Estimate=83×15
14
=1245/14
= 88.9 red wolves, which is approximately 90 red wolves.
10. The actual population size is 100 wolves. How did your calculated estimate compare with the actual population size revealed here?
My calculated estimate was less than the actual population size.
Part II – For the following questions, provide your response in short answer format (2-3 sentences each). Use this Phase’s activities and resources to assist you in answering:
11. Define and explain the term ‘population’ from a Biology standpoint.
The term population refers to the sum of all organisms that belong to a similar category or species (Rana, 2009). These organisms often inhabit a given ecological niche and are able to freely interbreed and give rise to fertile offspring.
12. Why is it important to sample populations from an Ecology standpoint?
From an ecological standpoint, it is vital to sample populations to determine the number of organisms that inhabit an exact region (Begon, Mortimer, & Thompson, 2009). Such information is central in finding populations that are risk of annihilation (endangered species). Therefore, the information assists in mounting interventions to safeguard the endangered species.
13. What are the steps involved in the Mark and Recapture Method (Lincoln-Peterson Method) in population sampling?
The steps involved in the Mark and Recapture Method include capturing the target organisms, marking and counting them and releasing them back to their habitat to intermix freely with others (Morrison, Block, Strickland, Collier, & Peterson, 2008). After some time, the researcher then goes back to the same area, captures the intended organisms and enumerates those with marks (previously captured). Ultimately, the numbers of the captured organisms and marked recapture are used to work out the population with the aid of the formula:
Population Estimate = (Total number re-captured) X (Number marked initially)
(Total number re-captured with mark).
14. Why would it be important that the data collected under the Mark and Recapture Method be gathered at the same time each year?
It is vital to collect data under the Mark and Recapture method at the same time of the year to mitigate the effect of migration in influencing the population. Certain animals migrate at certain times of the year either to mate or to look for food (Adds, Larkcom, & Miller, 2004). Therefore, if the study times are changed, these animals may not be taken into custody and affect the entire population.
References
Adds, J., Larkcom, E., & Miller, R. (2004). Genetics, evolution and biodiversity. United Kingdom: Nelson Thornes.
Begon, M., Mortimer, M., & Thompson, D. J. (2009). Population ecology: A unified study of animals and plants. Malden, MA: John Wiley & Sons.
Morrison, M. L., Block, W. M., Strickland, M. D., Collier, B. A., & Peterson, M. J. (2008). Wildlife study design. USA: Springer Science & Business Media.
Rana, S. V. S. (2009). Essentials of ecology and environmental science (4th ed.). New Delhi: PHI Learning.