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ERIC Number: EJ1118796
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Feb
Pages: 6
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0036-8555
Uncovering Wildlife
Travis, Holly
Science Teacher, v83 n2 p17-22 Feb 2016
Many ground-dwelling amphibians, reptiles, small mammals, insects, and other arthropods seek cover during their resting hours. Their natural hideaways include underground burrows, rotting logs, and leaf litter, which are widely distributed and difficult to discover and observe. To make observation easier, scientists, educators, and students can use a "cover board," systematically placing pieces of plywood or other materials in forested, grassy, or wetland habitats for small- and medium-size animals to hide under. An observer can easily discover these animals simply by lifting the boards and looking under them. Cover boards help researchers determine the abundance of animal species in a specific location and are useful in educating students about the environment, wildlife, and ecology. Some school districts fortunate enough to have large campuses with wild areas or nearby nature centers can also use full-size cover boards for classroom research projects on topics such as amphibian and reptile diversity. In most school settings, however, smaller, "mini cover boards" are more practical. Mini cover boards typically attract snails, slugs, earthworms, beetles, ants, small spiders, pillbugs, millipedes, and centipedes, but are much less likely than larger boards to harbor snakes or mammals. Other invertebrate signs such as trails, droppings, burrows, webs, and slime can also be observed under the smaller boards and used to determine organisms present. This article provides a sample investigation utilizing mini cover boards in a field research project designed by students. During the project, students will describe and explain biotic and abiotic factors affecting biodiversity in different habitats through data collection and analysis.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A