12 3 Wildlife Ecology


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12 3 Wildlife Ecology

  1. 1. Natural Resources Wildlife Ecology
  2. 2. KEYSTONE SPECIES <ul><li>A species in the environment that has a disproportionate impact relative to its abundance in the ecosystem </li></ul><ul><li>Usually predators but could be a common prey species </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Prey: - Rabbits </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Predator: - Wolves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Beavers: - Modify habitat </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Example <ul><li>What happens when a family of beavers dams a creek? </li></ul><ul><li>What habitat changes take place? </li></ul><ul><li>What species can no longer survive there? </li></ul><ul><li>What species might migrate in? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Wildlife Management <ul><li>Reductionist – concentrates on management and research of single populations </li></ul><ul><li>Holistic – concentrates on management of the entire ecosystem </li></ul>
  5. 5. Ecological Scale <ul><li>Individual Organisms </li></ul><ul><li>Populations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Group of interbreeding individuals of the same species </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Communities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Interacting Populations of different species </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ecosystem </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Living and non-living factors in a given area </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Holistic Management <ul><li>All organisms within an ecosystem are interdependent on the other organisms and species for their existence </li></ul><ul><li>Example: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>When wolves are present in Yellowstone Park, the abundance and diversity of songbirds increases. Why? </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Ripple Effect <ul><li>Each organism has a niche in its environment </li></ul><ul><li>When the role is not fulfilled, there are repercussions & adjustments throughout the ecosystem </li></ul>
  8. 8. Yellowstone Study <ul><li>When wolves are present, moose and elk do not graze in the streams and streambanks </li></ul><ul><li>When moose don’t graze on streambanks, the plant diversity and abundance increases </li></ul><ul><li>When the plant diversity and abundance increases, the bird habitat is improved </li></ul><ul><li>When the bird habitat is improved, the abundance and diversity of songbirds increases </li></ul>
  9. 9. Over Population Problems <ul><li>Suburban areas have severe over-population of White-tailed deer </li></ul><ul><li>Nuisance to home-owners </li></ul><ul><li>Danger to drivers </li></ul><ul><li>Risk of disease & damage </li></ul><ul><li>Hunting is not an option </li></ul>
  10. 10. Non-lethal control <ul><li>Strategy A . Identify, evaluate and use effective non-lethal deer management techniques. </li></ul><ul><li>Non-lethally in suburban habitats. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Those designed to manage herd size, such as fertility controls; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Those intended to control movement or other behavior, such as fencing and repellents. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Where traditional methods are not practical or desirable. </li></ul><ul><li>Deer fertility control is being studied </li></ul>
  11. 11. Lethal Control <ul><li>Strategy B . Identify, evaluate and use effective lethal deer management techniques. </li></ul><ul><li>Currently, lethal control is the only viable means to control deer populations on the large scale. </li></ul><ul><li>Regulated hunting will remain a cornerstone of deer population control effort </li></ul><ul><li>Use of sharpshooters and trap and euthanize efforts </li></ul>
  12. 12. Special Harvest Practices <ul><li>Quota Hunts – Pre-apply to hunt in areas with too many hunters for the animal population </li></ul><ul><li>Managed Hunts – Hunting in usually restricted areas to reduce the population. Must pre-apply and be selected – may have to attend training </li></ul><ul><li>Earn a Buck (EAB) – In over-populated counties </li></ul>