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Data Collection, Analysis and Reporting|Research Question 2

The Importance of Mortality Studies

Because the vicuna is the main prey of the puma, it is particularly important to determine how many newborns (in this case vicuna newborns) are killed by predators (in this case pumas) before newborns complete their first year of life.

This is important because the number of newborns that survived puma predation during their first year is, more or less, the number of potentially reproductive adults that are being added to the population of vicunas every year.

Knowing this allows biologists in charge of conserving or managing both large predators (wolves, bears, lions, jaguars, cheetahs and…of course pumas) and their large prey species** to predict the size of the population and to make decisions to enhance both species’ survival.

** Scientists classify the camelids (vicunas, guanacos, llamas, alpacas, dromedary and Bactrian came) as Ungulates. This group also includes all species of deer, pigs, wild boars, cows, wildebeest, antelope, pronghorn, buffalo, moose, caribou, impala, domestic cattle, sheep, and goats.

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Results:

After one year monitoring the marked animals, researchers obtained the following information for each marked newborn. (Note: dates are in the format day/month/year.)

table of results

Frequency refers to the unique number given to the transmitter attached to the animal.
Name refers to the name the researchers gave to each animal.
Weight refers to birth weight (in grams) of each marked individual.
Survived refers to whether an animal reached one year of age (YES) or died before doing so (NO).
    If an animal survived no more information was collected.
    If an animal died, then the time and cause of death are also recorded.
    If the cause of death cannot be determined, it is listed as "unidentified".


Analyze the Data:

Survival Numbers:
  • How many newborns survived to their first birthday?
  • How many died before their first birthday?

Survival Percentage:
  • What percentage of newborns survived?
  • What percentage died before their first birthday?

Gender Distribution:
  • What percent of the newborns were males, and what percent were females?
  • What percent of the newborns who survived were males, and what percent were female?

Birth Weight:
  • What was the average birth weight of those newborns that survived?
  • What was the average birth weight of those newborns that died?

Cause of Death:
  • What percent of the newborns who died were killed by pumas?

Summarize your results:

Write a short report summarizing your findings.

Compare Your Analysis and Findings with the Researcher's Analysis and Findings


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