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Estimating the population size of animals is an important task for wildlife biologists, who can use the data to assess the health of a population. It requires diligent observation skills coupled with the ability to use empirical models that effectively determine the number of animals based on field surveys. The most common method for estimating the population size of animals is mark and recapture. This method requires capturing and marking individuals, followed by subsequent capture sessions. The number of individuals marked and unmarked in subsequent capture sessions are used to determine the population size. This case study introduces two empirical models for mark and recapture and applies one of the models in an application activity investigating the expansion of coyotes in urban areas.
Associated files
Primary or BEN resource type
Secondary resource type
General Biology Core Concepts
Discipline Specific Core Concepts
General Biology Competencies
Life science discipline (subject)
Keywords mark, recapture, population, modeling
Intended End User Role
Educational Language
Pedagogical Use Category
Pedagogical Use Description Mark and recapture is a popular application among wildlife biologists to estimate population size. This activity introduces the concept to students interested in wildlife biology and can be used as a tool to teach modeling, which requires quantitative thinking. The case study uses an interesting topic in the spread of urban coyotes to grab the students' attention.
Aggregation Level
Full Name of Primary Author Matthew Richard Opdyke
Primary Author Controlled Name
Primary Author Affiliation Point Park University
Primary Author email
Secondary Author Name(s) Keri Rouse
Secondary Author Affiliation(s) Point Park University
Secondary Author Email(s)
Added By Id
  • mopdyke
Submitter Name Matthew Opdyke
Submitter Email
Rights Matthew Richard Opdyke
Review type
Drought and Water Ecosystem Services Collection Off
Conservation Targets Under Global Change Collection Off
Big Data Collection Off
Editors Choice No
Resource Status
Date Of Record Submission 2018-12-17
I Agree to EcoEdDL's Copyright Policy & Terms of Use No
Date Of Record Release 2019-01-23 18:15:39
Last Modified By Id
  • tmourad
Date Last Modified 2019-01-23 18:15:39
Release Flag Published

Resource Comments

Subject: Comment On: Case Study on Mark and Recapture
Posted By: mopdyke
Date Posted: 2018-12-17 13:26:02
Revised document was uploaded and is labeled "Mark and Recapture Lessons"