a wildlife management term for an equilibrium or balance expressed by the density of forage plants and the number of animals (typically ungulates such as deer, elk, sheep) feeding on those plants in a given area. Carrying capacity is the balance between herbivores and their food supply. In general ecological usage, carrying capacity is the equilibrium established between any life form and its environment. It is frequently expressed as a number indicating the population of any given animal a given area can support. Carrying capacity varies throughout the year. The population number varies from year to year, dependent upon conditions within the habitat such as rainfall.