3-Acts Exponential-Linear Feral Cats

Act 1 direct link

Act 2 What questions do you have?

Students will have many interesting questions.  The focus question for this activity will be, “Will the number of cats the government culls significantly impact the population when reproduction is considered?”   This activity could take two routes:

1)   have students research the numbers of feral cats currently estimated in Australia along with their reproductive rates

2)  provide the following fact sheets

Quick facts download 1  download 2

Reproductive study download

Strategy sheet download

Common Core Standards related:  download

Students could explore these facts (growth with and without government culling) with charts, graphs and equations. Comparisons for the growth will be exponential, and actual numbers will depend upon when the cats are culled.  As a confidence-builder, the exploration could start off with the easy question of how much it would cost the government to eliminate each cat based on their projected $6,600,000 project to cull 2,000,000 cats as shown in the fact sheets.  It does not say when the cats will be culled (immediately or over time), so students could make projections with different scenarios.

Act 3  download

Conclusion:  the government would only temporarily decrease the number of feral cats because the reproductive rate is such that the population will quickly recover and continue to grow.

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