|How Much Tundra To Feed
Topic: Balance of Nature
Objectives: Students will:
1. Determine the
amount of tundra grass one Caribou and a herd of
Caribou will eat in one day, one month and one year.
2. Reflect and
record all data in student science journals.
3. Create a
bar/line graph to represent data.
One caribou will
consume 2 percent of its body weight in one day.
Based on this data calculations can be made as to
what it will take to keep one caribou alive for one
day. The average weight of a caribou is 189 kg.
Caribou herds in Denali have grown smaller in number
over the years; however, Denali National Park does
have a healthy caribou herd and many caribou are seen
by visitors every summer. The approximate number of
caribou in Denali is 3000 animals. (Source: Kim
Sneden, Interview, Education Director, Detroit
Zoological Park, Detroit, Michigan, January 20, 1997.)
How Much Tundra To Feed A Caribou?
For Activity: One 45 minute period to
complete calculations graph results and enter data in
student science journals.
Grade Level: Middle school (Extensions and
adjustments for elementary and high school found
Needed: For each group of four students (Use
Cooperative Groups and identify recorder,
leader/reader and investigator.)
- Student science journal
- Graph paper
- Student Science Journals
materials to students.
students data: One average caribou is 189 kg, and
eats 2 percent of its body weight per day.
students calculate the mass of food one caribou
eats in one day, one month, and one year.
students calculate the mass of food one herd of
caribou (50) eat in one day, one month and one
year and calculate what the entire population of
caribou in Denali National Park will eat in one
day, one month and one year.
5. Record the
results in student science journals and graph the
results in a line or bar graph.
present the data they have collected/calculated
regarding the mass of tundra grass it takes to feed
one caribou, one herd of caribou and the entire
population of caribou in Denali National Park and
enter this data in the student science journal. Also,
present results to class and compare. Display graphs
created by students.
teacher discuss the restricted area of land in
Denali National Park and the animals that must
survive there following the viewing of the film.
Discuss the need for wildlife management and the
balance of nature, emphasizing the need for
managed populations in areas with limited
boundaries. An extension might be to discuss what
happens regarding overpopulation of a species.
enter data on spreadsheet and compare the amount
of tundra grass it takes to feed caribou with
moose and other browsers such as Dall Sheep. Also
research other animals of Denali and compare and
contrast which animals eat what kinds of food in
the park. Access the homepage listed below
specific to caribou and graph the caribou
migrations listed on the homepage.
Other Denali Sites:
NOVA: Surviving Denali
Specific to Caribou: