Wildlife habitat
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Wildlife Habitat. Objective: Describe the basic requirements for fish and wildlife species and explain methods to improve habitat for fish and wildlife. Habitat. Each species of wildlife requires a specific environment or habitat in which to live.

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Wildlife habitat

Wildlife Habitat

Objective: Describe the basic requirements for fish and wildlife species and explain methods to improve habitat for fish and wildlife.


  • Each species of wildlife requires a specific environment or habitat in which to live.

  • Forest and farm owners must be aware of those parts of the environment that wildlife need to survive and reproduce in order to properly manage land for wildlife.


  • Wildlife have specific requirements including Food, Cover, Water and Space.

  • These components must be arranged in an accessible fashion.

  • These four components must be present in sufficient quantity and quality in the species home range.


Whitetail deer require 640 acres with a mixture of trees, plants and shrubs for food and cover, and a source of water.


Wildlife habitat
Food plants and shrubs for food and cover, and a source of water.

  • Food is an obvious components for wildlife habitat.

  • Animals with enough food and proper nutrition are larger and healthier.

  • Well nourished wildlife have higher reproductive rates, produce healthier offspring, are more disease resistant, and better able to escape predators.

Wildlife habitat

On the other hand animals without food have low reproductive rates and are highly susceptible to disease.

If disease depletes the population of small mammals predators may starve


Food preferences
Food Preferences rates and are highly susceptible to disease.

  • Deer and other herbivores have feeding patterns.

  • These patterns are called Food Preferences.

  • Wildlife preferences can be put in four categories.

Four food preference categories
Four Food Preference Categories rates and are highly susceptible to disease.

  • Preferred- animals first choice, but not always available for consumption

  • Staple- foods eaten regularly that meet the animals nutritional needs

  • Emergency- meet animals short term needs, eaten when staple foods are absent

  • Stuffers- low nutrition, only eaten because there is no other available food

Foods rates and are highly susceptible to disease.

Cover rates and are highly susceptible to disease.

  • Cover is a habitat component that provides the protection necessary for the animals survival and reproduction.

  • It provides shelter from bad weather and escape or screen while they feed, rest, and care for their young.

Cover rates and are highly susceptible to disease.

  • Cover is very important and relates to the functional needs of the animal.

  • Quail need about 40% forest, 50% cropland/pasture, and 10% brushy thicket.

  • Quail numbers have dropped in the southeast due to changes in the availability of cover.

  • One potential cause is large scale prescribed burning.

Cover forest.

  • Patch burning is an alternative in which small patches are burned off instead of the whole forest

Cover forest.

  • Some animals can use any type of cover, like opossums. They can live in cities, dumps, or farmland.

  • Other animals are more selective, however many of these can benefit from the same cover.

  • Rabbits, birds, and ground nesting wildlife will all benefit from cover established for quail.

Types of brush piles
Types of Brush Piles forest.

  • There are many different types of brush piles

  • Could be logs, brush, rocks, junk, fallen trees, or a combination of these.

Water forest.

  • Animals need water for digestion, metabolism, and cooling off.

  • Around 80% of an animal’s body is water. It is clear that water is very important.

  • In Alabama springs creeks, rivers, and farm ponds generally provide enough water.

  • Some animals get their water from lush vegetation which has a high water content.

  • Also small mammals get water from morning dew.

Water sources
Water Sources forest.

Space forest.

  • Each species requires a certain amount of space. The space in which an animal lives is often called it’s home range.

  • There are many factors that determine how much space a wildlife species needs.

Determining factors for space
Determining Factors for Space forest.

  • Body Size- bigger animals require more space

  • Dietary Practices- Carnivores require more space than herbivores

  • Carrying Capacity- the amount of wildlife the land will support

  • Mobility- some animals travel long distances

  • Territorial Behavior- some animals will share territory, others will not

Arrangement of habitat components
Arrangement of Habitat components forest.

  • Interspersion- mixing of forest, pasture, and cropland. Creates Horizontal Habitat Diversity.

  • Vertical Layering- different layers at which plants grow. Creates Vertical Habitat Diversity.

  • Edge- a boundary at which two different plant communities meet. Like forest and pasture.

  • Ecotone- the mixture or transition of the two habitats

Edge adapted species
Edge Adapted Species forest.

  • Edges are great wildlife habitat, many species prefer these areas.

  • These species include rabbits, quail, robins and the common flicker.

Headquarters forest.

  • Also called coverts, headquarters are places where three or more habitats or vegetation types meet.

  • Like edges, headquarters are attractive to wildlife because they provide multiple habitat components in a small area.

Improving habitat
Improving Habitat forest.

  • First evaluate the existing conditions.

  • Does your farm or forest have cover, food, water, and space?

  • Are there any edges and ecotones?

  • Are there vertical and horizontal layers in the forest?

  • Are there thickets and brush piles for rabbits and quail?

Improving habitat1

After your evaluation, make improvements to the areas which need work.

For example you might plant a ryegrass field for deer.

Improving Habitat

Improving habitat2

Old fence rows make good cover. need work.

If there are no fence rows you could make a brush pile.

Improving Habitat

Improving habitat3

If water is a need you could plant lush vegetation and improve an old pond or build a pond.

Improving Habitat