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Basics of Wildlife Ecology Various Aspects of Wildlife Ecology Can Be Applied to Many Fundamental Curriculum Concepts. Geometry Geography Biology Location.

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Presentation on theme: "Basics of Wildlife Ecology Various Aspects of Wildlife Ecology Can Be Applied to Many Fundamental Curriculum Concepts. Geometry Geography Biology Location."— Presentation transcript:

1 Basics of Wildlife Ecology Various Aspects of Wildlife Ecology Can Be Applied to Many Fundamental Curriculum Concepts. Geometry Geography Biology Location Place Movement Region History Change Timelines Charts, Graphs Economics Civic Involvement Ecology Vocabulary Definition Critical Thinking Compare/Contrast Math Functions Relationships Non-linear Thinking There’s much more to wildlife ecology than... romance and cute little animals!.

2 Basics of Wildlife Ecology WHAT IS WILDLIFE? Game species only? Non-game species? Fish? Insects, worms, bacteria? How about the plants and fungi that support the animal population? Inter & intra-relationships between individuals and populations? Reactions to the physical environment? Origin of the term? “Wildlife includes all the animals associated with a particular ecosystem. However, knowledge about wildlife is largely restricted to game species, threatened & endangered species, and other species of economic importance”.

3 Basics of Wildlife Ecology VERTEBRATES BIRDS: waterfowl, songbirds, raptors & owls, shorebirds, woodpeckers, gallinaceous birds, crows & jays, hummingbirds, and many others. FISH: game fish, panfish, minnows, bottom-feeders, cold water, warm water MAMMALS: rodents, bats, squirrels, weasels, deer, bear, cats, and many others. HERPETILES (amphibians & reptiles): salamanders, toads, frogs, turtles, lizards, snakes, and others. Vertebrates are animals with backbones. There are about 400 species of vertebrates that occur in the Upper Peninsula. If you include all the other types of species, the count would easily reach into the thousands. Nobody knows that number for certain.

4 Basics of Wildlife Ecology Vertebrates Birds Fish Mammals Reptiles Amphibians Total Species Number of Species 306 146 68 30 25 575 Game Species 40 50 23 1 115 Plus... 15,000-20,000 Insects 195 Snails 79 Mollusks ?? Other Taxa NUMBER OF MICHIGAN SPECIES Source: Winter 2000 “Spotting Scope.” MDNR databases. MSU Extension sources.


6 Basics of Wildlife Ecology THREATENED & ENDANGERED Endangered (42 animals in Michigan): Any species of fish, plant life, or wildlife that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant part of its range, other than a species of insect as determined by the Department, or the Secretary, of the United States Department of the Interior to constitute a pest whose protection under this part would present an overwhelming and overriding risk to humans. Threatened (39 animals in Michigan): Any species which is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

7 Basics of Wildlife Ecology OTHER “T&E” DEFINITIONS Special Concern: While not afforded legal protection under the Act, many of these species are of concern because of declining or relict populations in the State. Should these species continue to decline, they would be recommended for Threatened or Endangered status. Protection of Special Concern species now, before they reach dangerously low population levels, would prevent the need to list them in the future by maintaining adequate numbers of self- sustaining populations within Michigan. Some other potentially rare species are listed as of Special Concern pending more precise information on their status in the state; when such information becomes available, they could be moved to Threatened or Endangered status or deleted from the list. Extinct: Any species which can no longer be found anywhere in the world. Extirpated (10 animals in Michigan, mostly fish): Any species which can no longer be found in the State of Michigan, but which can be found elsewhere in the world.


9 Basics of Wildlife Ecology COMPOSITION Genetic Diversity - Gene Pools Species, Number of Species & Species Abundance Populations of Animals & Plants Species Associations & Community Diversity Ecosystem Diversity

10 Basics of Wildlife Ecology INVASIVE SPECIES Ecological - Economic - Aesthetic values Displaces native plants & animals, including T&Es 42% of USA have declined due to exotics (FWS) Degrades diverse biological communities Can alter: hydrological patterns, soil chemistry, erodibility, moisture-holding capacity, fire susceptibility Harbors pests, pathogens, toxins (i.e. garlic mustard, Scotch pine, soybean aphid) Annual monetary costs run into the billions of dollars Over 40,000 introduced species are catalogued in N.A.

11 Basics of Wildlife Ecology A FEW U.P. EXAMPLES Gypsy Moth Zebra Mussel Purple Loosestrife Spotted Knapweed Garlic Mustard Sea Lamprey Beech Bark Disease Dutch Elm Disease Oak Wilt White Pine Blister Rust Eurasian Water Milfoil Buckthorn (2 species) Larch Casebearer Asian Lady Beetle Michigan Invasive Plant Council:

12 Basics of Wildlife Ecology STRUCTURE Vertical & Horizontal Spatial Heterogeneity & Density Edge Effect Islands & Fragmentation Dead Trees & Snags Micro-Environments Appearance

13 Basics of Wildlife Ecology VERTICAL STRUCTURE Vertical structure refers to the “ladder-like” arrangement in a forest. Co-Dominant Dominant Intermediate Suppressed Shrubs Ground Cover Adapted from Baughman, et al., 1993. Woodland Stewardship. P. 17.

14 Basics of Wildlife Ecology HORIZONTAL STRUCTURE Stand density and crown cover within timber stands and across the landscape is horizontal structure. 40%80%100% Adapted from Baughman, et al., 1993. Woodland Stewardship. P. 20.

15 Basics of Wildlife Ecology EDGES, SNAGS, AND FRAGMENTATION Edge Effect Forest Fragmentation Green. 1995. Birds and Forests. P.55. UM-Cartography Lab. Large Snags

16 Basics of Wildlife Ecology FUNCTION Energy Capture & Trophics Weathering Mineral & Nutrient Cycling Water Movement Temperature & Humidity Succession & Disturbance

17 Basics of Wildlife Ecology ENERGY CAPTURE Energy Capture Trophic Levels 10%

18 Basics of Wildlife Ecology CYCLING Nutrient, Mineral, and Water Cycling GainsLosses Ecosystem

19 Basics of Wildlife Ecology SUCCESSION Grasses & Forbs Shrubs & Saplings Young Forest Mature Forest Old Forest Wisconsin DNR, 1995. Wisconsin’s Biodiversity as a Management Issue. P. 22.

20 Basics of Wildlife Ecology DISTURBANCE Forested ecosystems are dependent upon disturbance for renewal and to provide biological diversity. The plants and animals in a forest don’t know whether the disturbance is caused by natural events or human-caused events. Natural Events Fire Wind Animals Flooding Diseases/Insects Human-Caused Events Fire Harvest Pollution Development Exotic Introductions

21 Basics of Wildlife Ecology WHAT IS HABITAT? Site Quality Soil, Topography, Climate Extremes, Precipitation, Drought Periods Space and Home Range Proximity, Diversity, Seasonality Food & Water Seasonality, Variety, Preferences, Nutrition Shelter Weather, Cover, Young, Display, Resting/Roosting Variability Different Species Can Have Widely Different Requirements That Can Change With the Seasons and Life Stage.

22 Basics of Wildlife Ecology POPULATIONS vs. INDIVIDUALS Age Structure Sex Ratio Natality & Mortality Lifespan Interspecific Dynamics Intraspecific Dynamics Territoriality Home Range Migrations Carrying Capacity Generalists? Obligates? Facultative? Preferences? Opportunistic?

23 Basics of Wildlife Ecology POPULATION DYNAMICS S-curve of population growth Annual cycles Short and long-term cycles Irregular and irruptive cycles

24 Basics of Wildlife Ecology s-curve T I M E POPULATION THEORETICAL POPULATION GROWTH The “S” Curve

25 Basics of Wildlife Ecology annual cycles ANNUAL CYCLES

26 Basics of Wildlife Ecology hare cycle LONG-TERM CYCLES Canada Lynx, Hudson Bay Company 1000s Furs Year Source: Elton & Nicholson (1942) in Dasmann (1964), p.173.

27 Basics of Wildlife Ecology raccoon cycle Number of Raccoons Taken IRRUPTIVE CYCLES Raccoon, Hudson Bay Company Source: Elton & Nicholson (1942) in Dasmann (1964), p.179.

28 Basics of Wildlife Ecology kaiba b deer AN IRRUPTIVE CYCLE Kaibab Deer Herd 1000s of Deer Long-term Habitat Damage Source: Elton & Nicholson (1942) in Dasmann (1964), p.166.

29 Basics of Wildlife Ecology I “toad” you there was more to wildlife ecology than romance and cute little animals!

30 Basics of Wildlife Ecology Keep in mind that the State of Michigan owns those deer and all the wildlife, unless … Clearcut mature aspen stands, under 40 acres, maximize edge, feathered edges. Encourage small oak groves, stump sprouts. Plant small openings to nutritious perennial grasses & herbs. In hardwoods, use group selection or small clearcuts to encourage oak and other browse species. Consider the distance between winter thermal cover and winter feeding areas. Remember that high deer populations can have negative effects on forest regeneration and other species of wildlife. High populations also stress agriculture and cause increased automobile crash rates. DEER HABITAT You have lots of money for a fence!

31 Basics of Wildlife Ecology GROUSE & WOODCOCK Provide a multi-aged patchwork of aspen stands through age 40 or 50 years, especially mature male aspen. Few grouse move more than two miles from where they’re born, or move beyond their 8-10 acre home range. Provide drumming logs and space around the drumming logs. If possible, watch where grouse feed in tree tops (easiest in spring during catkin flush) and favor popular clones over lesser used clones. Work with adjacent landowners to make small harvests economical for the logger.

32 Basics of Wildlife Ecology Harvest or cut in the fall or winter. Fewer birds, less disturbance, not the breeding season. Think small scale, many species range within a half-acre during the critical breeding season. Encourage berry and seed-bearing shrubs. Encourage large snags … 6-10 per acre. Canopy with 50-75 percent cover. Good vertical structure. Keep the livestock out. Lots of edge. Ignore most of the above if you’re interested in deep woods species. SONGBIRDS

33 Basics of Wildlife Ecology FORESTRY AND WILDLIFE Woodland wildlife is managed by manipulating the forest to provide the kind and variety of habitat needed. Forestry practices in the U.P. have many effects: encourages plant diversity encourages forest regeneration causes multiple age distributions provides “edge” creates horizontal and vertical structure adds more micro-environments accelerates system metabolism & nutrient cycling

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