Population Counts and Habitat Assessments

Observe Your World

Open and make a copy of the Science Journal template below. You can record all of your work on this document and save it, share it, or turn it in to your teacher.

Engage

Explore

Explain

Extend

Evaluate

Gopher Tortoise (6)

Engage

Discover why gopher tortoises are a critical part of South Florida's scrub habitats as you learn about their incredible burrows.

Explore

Learn how scientists perform population counts and habitat assessments. Then explore your backyard or schoolyard by conducting your own habitat assessment and population count for brown anoles.
Brown Anole

Explain

Explain the concepts you've learned by answering these questions in your science journal, and then tell your teacher, classmates, or share on Twitter with your class.
  • What was the TOTAL number of anoles you observed in your samples?

  • What was the AVERAGE number of anoles in perch habitats? Open areas?

  • Which habitat do you think anoles prefer? Why?

  • You took SAMPLES of the anole population in your school or backyard habitat. How would you approach calculating the TOTAL number of anoles in the entire habitat?

  • What do you think would happen to anole populations in your outside habitat if you eliminated all perches? Why?

Extend

Extend your thinking about the gopher tortoise's role in its ecosystem by learning about how the American alligator impacts the wetland habitats it calls home.
Alligator Fakahatchee (1)
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Evaluate

ANSWER THE BIG QUESTION
 

OVERALL: How are organisms connected in an ecosystem, and how do scientists learn about these relationships?

 
After you have completed your population count and habitat assessment, share your findings with your classmates, teacher, family, and friends. Note any differences and similarities, and discuss what you have learned!

We want to hear from you! Send us your questions, photos, data, artwork, and observations on Twitter by tweeting @conservancyswfl