Most population models are simply a matter of life and death. That
is, the growth rate of the number of members of the species depends
only on the balance of the birth rate and the death rate. In our
first problem we will make the simple assumption that these rates are
constant fractions of the current population. For example, consider a
population of rabbits. If 25% of the population gives birth to a
single offspring in a year, the rate of growth due to births would be
0.25*N* per year where *N* is the number of rabbits. Of course, death is important too, and the death
rate could depend on another constant. For example if 5% of the
rabbits dies per year the death rate would be -0.05*N* per year.
**Question: why is the death rate negative?**

More generally, we can assume the that birthrate constant is *b* and
the death rate constant is *d* and therefore the total change in
population per year is just

Mon Sep 22 21:30:22 EDT 1997