Estimating Population Size Using the “Mark and Recapture” Method
In order to effectively study living organisms, scientists often need to know the size of a given population. A population is a group of organisms of the same species that live in a particular area. It is not reasonable to think that every individual in the population can be counted, and it is often difficult to get an accurate estimation of population size since organisms tend to hide, move around, etc.
Population biologists have developed several methods for sampling a population. In this lab, you will use the sampling technique known as “the mark and recapture method” to estimate the size of a population of wild beans! This method involves capturing a number of individuals from a population, marking or tagging them, and then releasing them back into the wild.