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Wildlife and Conservation Management Mr. Johnsen Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Modified by Georgia Agricultural Education Curriculum Office July, 2002 August 2008 I. Wildlife and Conservation Management: background A. Habitat: an area with the combination of resources (food, cover, and water) that allows for a species to survive. B. Habitat requirements vary by species • Generalist species • Specialist species • Migratory species August 2008 Generalist Species (defined) Generalist species are common and widely distributed; they can usually tolerate a range of climates, have broad dietary and nesting/breeding needs, and can adapt fairly well to humans. August 2008 Generalist Species Examples: White-tailed deer August 2008 Coyote Specialist Species (defined) Specialist species are usually limited by a narrow habitat, either by preference, tolerance of habitat destruction; characteristics include tolerating a limited climate range, need for specific diets and/or breeding/nesting sites an an inability to adapt to humans. August 2008 Specialist Species Examples: Grizzly Bear August 2008 Wolf Migratory Species (defined) Migratory species are animals that periodically or regularly move from one area to another for the purposes of breeding, food forage, and/or to avoid extreme climatic conditions; migratory patterns can range from thousands of miles to less than 30, depending on the species. August 2008 Migratory Species Examples: Wood Duck August 2008 Canadian Geese Migratory Examples (cont.): Salmon American Buffalo August 2008 Wildlife and Conservation Management: background (cont.) C. Ecosystem management recognizes that an “entire systems” approach must be taken in order to assure we look past specific species and view the ecosystem as a whole. August 2008 Wildlife and Conservation Management background (cont.) August 2008 1. All elements, including species composition, predation, physical conditions are interrelated. 2. Ecosystems range in size from very small (pond or backyard) to very large (forest or ocean) Wildlife and Conservation Management background (cont.) D. Biodiversity: the variety and variability of living organisms and their environments E. Habitat Corridors: habitat tracts in which wildlife can travel safely between sites. August 2008 Wildlife and Conservation Management background (cont.) F. Major Wildlife Habitat Types 1. Forests 2. Rangelands 3. Riparian 4. Wetlands August 2008 II. Management of Wildlife A. Management by State and Federal Agencies 1. 1937 Federal Aid to Wildlife Act incurs a tax on the sale of guns and ammo. The money is then divided to states. 2. 1966 Endangered Species Preservation Act; provides protection against extinction for all plants and animals. August 2008 Management of Wildlife (cont.) a. A group must contact the Secretary of the Interior to “list” a species. USFWS and NMFS judges submission b. The process is long and requires large amounts of public comment, hearings, and environmental impact reports. c. Species that are listed are protected from hunting, as well as granted protection for their critical habitat. August 2008 Management of Wildlife (cont.) 3. 1976 National Forest Management Act requires a forest management plan must be created for all timber areas; plans must provide for both plant and animal well-being. 4. 1976 Federal Land Policy Management Act requires the BLM take all resources into account in the planning process. Half the revenue of grazing livestock on public land is spent to improve the land. August 2008 Management of Private Lands B. Management of Private Lands 1. The majority of lands in the U.S. are privately owned. 2. Majority of States offer technical and financial assistance to land owners to encourage habitat improvement. August 2008 Management in Urban Areas C. Management in Urban Areas 1. US is becoming more urban so human wildlife interaction is more frequent. 2. As Urbanization continues, diversity drops. (Generalist species increase though.) 3. Highly adaptable species, like crows, rats and squirrels reach such high populations they are considered pests. Control is difficult, since hunting and trapping is illegal in urban areas. August 2008 Easily Adaptable Species American Crow August 2008 III. Threats to Wildlife A. Habitat Fragmentation and Loss 1. Fragmentation is the severe subdivision of once continuous habitat areas. 2. Land development causes habitat fragmentations 3. Fragmentation can result in an out-right loss of habitat as well as blocking migration routes. August 2008 Threats to Wildlife (cont.) 4. Fragmentation results in contiguous habitat zones surrounded by unsuitable habitat that places populations on “islands”, limiting the genetic pool. 5. In a few instances, well planned habitat corridors can link previously fragmented lands. August 2008 Threats to Wildlife (cont.) B. Conflict over habitat management 1. Rights of private land owners regularly conflict with the concept of conservation and ecosystem management. a. One exception to this rule is in an endangered species case, the land owner is obligated by law to conserve the species. August 2008 Threats to Wildlife (cont.) C. Human Disturbance of wildlife 1. Many species dependent on wilderness are unable to handle human interaction. 2. Some wilderness-dependent species become aggressive when they come into human contact. 3. Some species elect to move when they come into contact with humans. Sometimes this is not possible. August 2008 Threats to Wildlife (cont.) 4. Recreational disturbances a. Campers, hikers, fisherman, boaters, atvs all impact the environment. b. Recreational users need to respect the land. c. Some activities (atvs, hunting, fishing) are prohibited in sensitive areas. August 2008 Threats to Wildlife (cont.) 5. Poaching is the illegal killing of wildlife a. Poaching-killing protected species, killing out of season, hunting in protected areas, killing animals protected by sex or size, killing animals by illegal methods, or illegal collection of specimens. August 2008 Threats to Wildlife (cont.) August 2008 b. State and federal agencies are focusing more on arresting poachers, setting up of decoys, wildlife stings and anonymous hot-lines. c. Some poachers target specific parts of animals; such as bear gallbladders and antlers of deer or elk.