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Wildlife and Conservation
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
August 2008
Generalist Species Examples:
White-tailed deer
August 2008
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
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.):
American Buffalo
August 2008
Wildlife and Conservation
Management: background
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
August 2008
All elements, including
species composition,
predation, physical
conditions are interrelated.
Ecosystems range in size
from very small (pond or
backyard) to very large
(forest or ocean)
Wildlife and Conservation
Management background
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
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 group must contact the Secretary of
the Interior to “list” a species. USFWS
and NMFS judges submission
The process is long and requires
large amounts of public comment,
hearings, and environmental
impact reports.
Species that are listed are protected
from hunting, as well as granted
protection for their critical habitat.
August 2008
Management of Wildlife (cont.)
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.
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
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
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
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
b. Recreational users need to respect
the land.
c. Some activities (atvs, hunting,
fishing) are prohibited in sensitive
August 2008
Threats to Wildlife (cont.)
Poaching is the illegal killing of
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
State and federal agencies are
focusing more on arresting
poachers, setting up of decoys,
wildlife stings and anonymous
Some poachers target specific parts
of animals; such as bear gallbladders
and antlers of deer or elk.