Upper Piedmont Habitat Prior to 1781
OverviewTo have students define what kind of habitat an animal would have needed to survive in the upper Piedmont of the Carolinas prior to the Battle of Cowpens. Students will describe elements that contributed to the animal’s extinction from the area.
- Have students identify the wildlife native to the upper Piedmont prior to the Battle of Cowpens.
- Have students assess the habitat that each animal would have needed for survival.
- Have students determine the cause(s) of species extinction.
Habitat includes food, shelter, water and landscape that an animal would need to survive and reproduce. It could also be described as the environment where an organism lives.
Every species of wildlife has very specific habitat requirements and is limited by the quality and quantity of available habitat. Plants and surface water which compose habitats are influenced by temperature, rainfall, sunlight and human activity. Habitats often change as a result of human disturbances or natural occurrences. These changes can be as subtle as a dying tree or as harsh as human interruption of natural activity such as a mining or iron ore operation. These changes force animals to adapt and compete with others in the habitat, or die.
As the environment recovers, whether using natural plant succession or human assistance, new plants and animals appear. This newly created habitat often favors species not present before the environment was disturbed. Some of the larger animals that lived in the area prior to 1781 were American Bison, Bears, Panthers, Wolves and Elk. Smaller animals or fowl were the Carolina Parakeets and great numbers and species of ducks. Not all of these animals were extinct from the area prior to the date of the battle, January 17, 1781.