First SD Model: Predator Prey Model with Squirrels, Mountain Lions, and Hunters
At first, I cloned the System Dynamics Model from the "Predator-Prey Interactions" tutorial. After I did this for populations of squirrels and mountain lions instead of moose and wolves, the model showed that the more squirrels mountain lions catch, the more the mountain lion population grows, and the squirrel population declines. The squirrel death rate, therefore, depends on the number of mountain lions and the mountain lion birth rate depends on the number of squirrels.
I complicated the model by adding 15 hunters to the landscape. Now, the model starts with 150 squirrels, 100 mountain lions, and 15 hunters. This model operates under the assumption that hunters want to kill mountain lions, who presumably try to eat the farm animals that represent the hunters' livelihoods. I made the mountain lion death rate dependent on the number of hunters, and the model changed such that the squirrel population exploded and the mountain lion population approached extinction every 20 years. I based this model on a real event, which took place and is still taking place in the Sierra Nevada. Squirrel populations there apparently reached record levels when farmers seeking to protect their land killed off the vast majority of the mountain lion population there. Now, hunters in the area kill squirrels for sport because they disrupted the food chain so irrevocably.