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Forestland Wildlife. Large Game. Terms Associated with Forestland Wildlife. Behavior Modification: changes in normal actions in order to adapt to a new environment Browsers: a subdivision of herbivores which eat shrubbery, such as tender shoots, twigs, and leaves

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Forestland Wildlife

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Forestland wildlife l.jpg

Forestland Wildlife

Large Game


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Terms Associated with Forestland Wildlife

  • Behavior Modification: changes in normal actions in order to adapt to a new environment

  • Browsers: a subdivision of herbivores which eat shrubbery, such as tender shoots, twigs, and leaves

  • Grazers: a subdivision of herbivores which eat primarily grasses

  • Maximum Sustained Yield: largest average harvest taken continuously from a population under existing conditions


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White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

  • Most popular game species in North America

    • Provides humans with food, sport, and viewing enjoyment

    • Probably more than any other species the white tailed deer represents things wild and free to the human mind


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White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) cont.

  • Causes for the decreased population of the white-tailed deer in the early 1900’s

    • Deer populations were small and scattered by the turn of the 20th century, primarily as a result of loss of habitat due to extensive forest clearing and unregulated market hunting.

    • In the early 1900’s deer were so scarce that in much of the United States sightings were often reported in local newspapers.


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White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) cont.

  • Size and sex criteria of white tailed deer

    • Easily recognized by its long legs and hoofed toes, moderately long and well haired tail, large size and presence of antlers in parts of the year in males.

    • External genitalia are absolute sex identification characteristic for all ages of deer.

    • White tailed deer continue to increase in weight until it is roughly six years old

    • Mature white tailed bucks usually weigh between 180 and 300 pounds with does weighing 25% to 40% less


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White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) cont.

  • Antler growth cycle

    • The increased hours of daylight in spring stimulates the pituitary gland to initiate antler growth (usually April-May)

      • The base of the antler is still covered with soft skin richly supplied with blood vessels

      • The blood transports the calcium, phosphorous, protein, and other materials from which the antlers are made

      • During growth, from the time the antler first appears until they assume their final size, the soft skin and short hair covereing each antler have a plush like quality giving them the name “velvet”


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White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) cont.

  • Antler growth cycle (cont.)

    • Full antler size is reached in August-September, shortly before the breeding or rutting season begins.

      • Male sex hormone, testosterone, is being produced in increasing amounts and starts shedding of the velvet

      • In this process the blood supply is cut off at the base of the antler and the velvet skin begins to dry and peel

      • the buck begins to rub his antlers against trees and shrubs to remove the dead skin

      • When the dead skin is shed the boney core remains

      • Antlers are carried in this condition throughout the rut


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White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) cont.

  • Antler growth cycle (cont.)

    • At the end of the breeding season, usually from the last of December to February, the antlers become loose and are shed


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White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) cont.

  • Age Criteria, Age Ratio, and Longevity

    • It is not possible to tell the age of a buck by the size of its antlers or the number of points on the antler

      • Antler growth depends on many factors such as the deer’s age, the quality and quantity of food, injury, hormone regulation and heredity

      • Therefore white-tailed deer of the same age may have markedly different “racks”


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White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) cont.

  • Age Criteria, Age ratio, and Longevity (cont.)

    • The best means of age determination is tooth replacement and wear

      • Aging by tooth replacement and wear is most accurate on fawns and yearlings

      • More than 90% of the harvest each year is composed of deer under the age of four


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White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) cont.

  • Age Criteria, Age ratio, and Longevity (cont.)

    • Deer are in the prime of their life between two and seven years old

    • Some may live for about 15 years in the wild and up to 25 years in captivity

    • How to age white tailed deer


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White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) cont.

  • Voice and Sounds of The White-Tailed Deer

    • Adult deer are usually silent but make certain sounds on occasion

    • When scared they sometimes give out a loud, hoarse, high pitched shriek

    • They frequently snort or blow

    • Females call their young by a low murmur and the young respond back with a “baa”


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White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) cont.

  • Color of the White-Tailed Deer

    • In summer, both sexes are reddish brown to tan with white markings about the throat, underbelly, legs and tail

    • Color patterns of the winter coat is similar to the summer one but is grayish to grayish brown


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White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) cont.

  • Mobility of The White-Tailed Deer

    • Deer normally walk, trot, or bound along in low, smooth jumps interspersed with an occasional high jump for observation

    • When startled they may run at speeds up to 35 miles per hour

    • Deer are excellent jumpers and when pressed can clear fences eight and a half feet tall

    • White tailed deer are also great swimmers and can attain a speed of 11 to 13 miles per hour in water


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White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) cont.

  • Habitat of the White-Tailed Deer

    • White-Tailed deer favor a habitat of forested area

    • Prefer timber areas which border other habitat areas

    • Main reason for the habitat preference is the great variety of food available


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White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) cont.

  • Reproduction

    • The peak of mating season or rutting season is November

    • Does may come into “heat” as early as September

      • The heat period, or time of receptivity, lasts about 24 hours

      • Unmated does will continue to come into heat every 28 days during the breeding season


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White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) cont.

  • Reproduction (cont.)

    • Pregnancy lasts 6 ½ to 7 months

    • Fawns are often born in late May to early June

    • A doe usually has twins but sometimes may have a single offspring or triplets

    • At birth each fawn weighs between four and seven pounds and measures 17 to 19 inches in total length 9its eyes are open and it can stand feebly)

    • Weaning may begin as early as three to four weeks but some fawns nurse till they are six months old

    • The young accompany the mother till they are old enough to reproduce or the mother has another liter


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Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo)

  • Physical Characteristics of the Eastern Wild Turkey

    • Largest upland game bird in the United States

    • Adult birds usually weigh between 13-20 pounds with some exceptional individuals weighing 24 pounds or better

    • Plumage of the wild turkey is basically the same in both the hen and the gobbler, with shades of dark brown, brown and black predominantly in the feathers


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Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) cont.

  • Physical Characteristics of the Easten Wild Turkey (cont.)

    • Most colorful part of the turkey is the head, which varies from hues of bluish gray and red, to neutral gray and purples

    • Adult gobblers have spurs

    • Second most predominant characteristic of the gobbler is the beard

    • The beard of a mature gobbler can measure between 3 and 9 inches long


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Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) cont.

  • Major Foods of the Wild Turkey

    • The food of the wild turkey includes fruits, acorns, tubers, beechnuts, dogwoods, gums, wild grapes, and other nuts and berries

    • Turkey also eat grasses, wheat, corn, snails, and other insects


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Wild Turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) cont.

  • Habitual Characteristics of the Wild Turkey

    • Mixed hardwood forest with scattered openings are ideal habitat for the wild turkey

    • Mating takes place in April and May (hens lay 4 – 10 eggs (clutch) in ground nest and incubate them for 28 – 30 days before they hatch)

    • Young turkeys follow their mother for several months after hatching (imprinting)


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Wild Boar

  • Major Physical Characteristics of the Wild Boar

    • Average height is 3 ½ to 5 feet

    • Average weight is 500 pounds

    • Very coarse, thin hair

    • Gray to blackish in color

    • Tusks curve upwards

    • Piglets are dark spotted and stripped lengthwise


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Wild Boar (cont.)

  • Major Foods of The Wild Boar

    • Fruits

    • Tender roots

    • tubers


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Wild Boar (cont.)

  • Habitual Characteristics of the Wild Boar

    • Boars are very quick and fierce fighters

    • They are good swimmers

    • Very little is known about the wild boar for they are found in limited areas and are difficult to observe in the wild (normally)


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