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Reindeer of St. Matthew Island
Carrying Capacity Activity

St. Matthew Island, located near Alaska, had a population of reindeer introduced in 1944. The population exploded, as the island had no predators or other factors to slow their growth rate. Over time, the deer used up the resources of the island, eventually experiencing a severe dieback due to the lack of food. In this activity, students will graph the population change of the deer, then identify and discuss the dieback.

Essential concepts: Carrying capacity, exponential growth, dieback.

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