Populations Live in Habitats

Part of the Ecology Disrupted Curriculum Collection.

Turtle in its muddy habitat


Download the files below to use offline, or to incorporate into your own lesson planning tools.

Populations Live in Habitats teacher's guide



  1. Introduce the ecological principles of habitats and populations
  2. Connect the principles to this case study about bighorn sheep

Habitat and Populations

A habitat is an environmental area that is inhabited by a particular species of animal, plant or other type of organisms. To reinforce the concept of habitat it is important for the students to understand that there is often a relationship between the health of the habitat and a species population size. The healthier the habitat, the more the population will flourish.

Note:  Sometimes degraded habitats are no longer hospitable to native populations, but invasive species may move in a flourish.


Key Idea: Populations live in specific habitats.

Question: What is habitat?
Answer: The environment where a population/organism lives.

Question: What is the habitat for bighorn sheep?
Answer: Mountaintops in the Nevada and California desert.

Question: What is a population?
Answer: A population is a group of the same species that lives in the same area.

Question: How are bighorn sheep populations defined?
Answer: By their mountaintop habitat.