Laskowski, J., C. Gillespie, L. Corral, A. Oden, K. Fricke, and J.J. Fontaine. Teaching animal habitat selection using wildlife tracking equipment. Science Activities 53:147-154. DOI: 10.1080/00368121.2016.1211080
Habitat selection is the process by which animals choose where to live. By selecting locations or ‘habitats’ with many benefits (e.g., food, shelter, mates) and few costs (e.g., predation), animals improve their ability to survive and reproduce. Biologists track animal movement using radio telemetry technology to study habitat selection so they can better provide species with habitats that promote population growth. We present a curricula in which students locate “animals” (transmitters) using radio telemetry equipment and apply math skills (use of fractions and percentages) to assess their animal’s habitat selection by comparing the availability of habitat types with the proportion of ‘animals’ found in each habitat type.