Lynx-Rabbit - disease can spread rapidly And that is what...

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Problem 2. Lynx and Rabbit The daily life of the lynx is closely tied to the snowshoe rabbit. The lynx has a huge appetite for these rabbits, and its body is particularly well suited to hunting them. In summer the lynx often feeds on mice or ground squirrels, but its mind seems generally filled with visions of Peter Lepus, and its imagination travels beyond a rabbit dinner only with difficulty. This would be all very well, except that through the ages things have come to such a pass that the lynx cannot do very well without rabbits. Since the rabbits do not have planned parenthood, their numbers depend wholly on natural laws. For a period of years the rabbit population grows rapidly. For the lynx this makes a very rosy world. Its food supply increases by leaps and bounds; the lynx flourish and baby lynx abound. A day comes when there are hundreds of rabbits per square mile and a large lynx population. The woods are filled with life and activity. The size and concentration of the rabbit population, however, jeopardizes every rabbit, for now any
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Unformatted text preview: disease can spread rapidly. And that is what generally happens in Northern Canada unless food scarcity strikes first. Great numbers of rabbits die of disease. In a year or two the lynx find the woods empty. Starvation is now a problem. The lynx roam the woods, capturing what they can. Old hunting grounds are deserted; where there were dozens of rabbits there may be now none. New habitats are explored and hunting of new prey takes place. Lynx become thin and fail to reproduce, and in a year or two are scarce or absent over wide areas. Little by little, first slowly, then more rapidly, the rabbits come back and grow in numbers again. Lynx recover, too, and become more plentiful. The pattern of the rabbit and lynx cycles continues. (a) Draw a feedback diagram showing the rabbit-lynx cycle. Draw the diagram for the lynx first because it is simpler. (b) Next draw the diagram of what happens to the rabbits. (c) Fit the two diagrams together....
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