Lesson Plan

Swift Fox Data Analysis Lab

Swift fox, National Park Service photograph
Swift fox
National Park Service photograph

Overall Rating

Add your review (0 reviews)
Grade Level:
Seventh Grade-Twelfth Grade
Biodiversity, Biology: Animals, Conservation, Ecology, Wildlife Biology, Wildlife Management
100 minutes (2 periods)
National/State Standards:
Life Science Content Standard C, 7.L.3.1, 7.S.1.1, 7.S.2.1, 8.S.1.1, 8.S.2.1, 9-12.L.3.1, 9-12.N.1.1, 9-12.N.1.2


In this lesson, students will take on the role of a wildlife biologist and analyze actual 2003 swift fox translocation data from Badlands National Park. Students will work together to compile a master data sheet showing their findings.


Student-biologists will practice reading and analyzing scientific data based on the fox or foxes they are assigned. Students will practice interpreting individual charts and work together as a classroom team of biologists to compile overall data for the 2003 Swift Fox translocation season. Students will practice basic scientific data interpretation skills.


Teacher Background Information, 2003 Swift Fox Translocation Teacher Key, Fox File Student Sheets, 2003 Swift Fox Park Data Sheets, and Blank 2003 Swift Fox Translocation Student Data Sheets


Place the 2003 swift fox data sheets at separate stations around the room.


Students should be in a location where they are able to move from one data station to another. Students will be assigned random swift fox numbers from up to 3 different foxes, depending on class size. There are 40 foxes included in the 2003 study data.

Students will act as biologists and collect information on their specific foxes from the data tables posted around the room. Students will fill out a Fox File card for each different fox they have been assigned. Information will consist of finding the fox's gender, age, weight, capture location, capture date, date released into Badlands National Park, disease information, breeding information, mortality dates, etc. This information will then be compiled into one master list of foxes 1-40.

Students will be responsible for contributing their Fox File information for the master data lists that students will compile. Each student will be responsible for compiling a master data list on the Blank 2003 Swift Fox Translocation Chart Student Sheets. Teachers should use the 2003 Swift Fox Teacher Key for reference.



Data sets from other swift fox translocation years may be available for further analysis as the reintroduction program progresses. Students can continue to follow swift fox management at Badlands National Park through actual scientific data as it becomes available from the park.

If you are interested, you can contact Badlands National Park to set up an online ranger presentation.

Additional Resources


mortality, sire, dam, wildborn, disease, contagion, plague, tularimia, parvo, canine distemper virus (CDV)