Ecological field techniques such as transect surveys are long-used, integral means of immersing students in field exercises to illustrate ecological measures. Many species of crayfish create conspicuous burrows within or near aquatic habitats. Such burrows can easily be identified and measured by students during an ecological field exercise. In this article, we describe a field activity we developed as part of a college-level course in which students utilized transects and calipers to collect counts and measurements of crayfish burrows in order to evaluate their distribution and size among different substratum types along a small stream. This field exercise could be incorporated, with or without modification, into an applicable high school or introductory/intermediate college biology course as a means of illustrating ecological concepts, sampling technique, and/or behavioral biology.
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Vol. 83 • No. 4