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Various Aspects of Wildlife Ecology Can Be Applied to Many Fundamental Curriculum Concepts. Geometry Geography Biology Location Place Movement Region. History Change Timelines Charts, Graphs Economics Civic Involvement Ecology. Vocabulary Definition

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Various Aspects of Wildlife Ecology Can Be Applied to Many Fundamental Curriculum Concepts.

  • Geometry
  • Geography
  • Biology
  • Location
  • Place
  • Movement
  • Region
  • History
  • Change
  • Timelines
  • Charts, Graphs
  • Economics
  • Civic Involvement
  • Ecology
  • Vocabulary
  • Definition
  • Critical Thinking
  • Compare/Contrast
  • Math Functions
  • Relationships
  • Non-linear Thinking

There’s much more to wildlife ecology than . . .

romance and cute little animals!

.

what is wildlife

WHAT IS WILDLIFE?

Game species only? Non-game species? Fish?

Insects, worms, bacteria?

How about the plants and fungi that support the animal population?

Inter & intra-relationships between individuals and populations?

Reactions to the physical environment?

Origin of the term?

“Wildlife includes all the animals associated with a particular ecosystem. However, knowledge about wildlife is largely restricted to game species, threatened & endangered species, and other species of economic importance”.

vertebrates
VERTEBRATES

Vertebrates are animals with backbones. There are about 400 species of vertebrates that occur in the Upper Peninsula. If you include all the other types of species, the count would easily reach into the thousands. Nobody knows that number for certain.

BIRDS: waterfowl, songbirds, raptors & owls, shorebirds, woodpeckers, gallinaceous birds, crows & jays, hummingbirds, and many others.

FISH: game fish, panfish, minnows, bottom-feeders, cold water, warm water

MAMMALS: rodents, bats, squirrels, weasels, deer, bear, cats, and many others.

HERPETILES (amphibians & reptiles): salamanders, toads, frogs, turtles, lizards, snakes, and others.

slide4

NUMBER OF MICHIGAN SPECIES

Number of Species

306

146

68

30

25

575

GameSpecies

40

50

23

1

1

115

  • Vertebrates
  • Birds
  • Fish
  • Mammals
  • Reptiles
  • Amphibians
  • Total Species

Plus . . .

15,000-20,000 Insects

195 Snails

79 Mollusks

?? Other Taxa

Source: Winter 2000 “Spotting Scope.” MDNR databases. MSU Extension sources.

the species
THE SPECIES !

ABOUT 400SPECIES OF VERTEBRATES IN THE U.P.

threatened endangered
THREATENED & ENDANGERED

Endangered (42 animals in Michigan): Any species of fish, plant life, or wildlife that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant part of its range, other than a species of insect as determined by the Department, or the Secretary, of the United States Department of the Interior to constitute a pest whose protection under this part would present an overwhelming and overriding risk to humans.

Threatened (39 animals in Michigan): Any species which is likely to become an endangered species within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range.

other t e definitions
OTHER “T&E” DEFINITIONS

Special Concern: While not afforded legal protection under the Act, many of these species are of concern because of declining or relict populations in the State. Should these species continue to decline, they would be recommended for Threatened or Endangered status. Protection of Special Concern species now, before they reach dangerously low population levels, would prevent the need to list them in the future by maintaining adequate numbers of self-sustaining populations within Michigan. Some other potentially rare species are listed as of Special Concern pending more precise information on their status in the state; when such information becomes available, they could be moved to Threatened or Endangered status or deleted from the list.

Extinct: Any species which can no longer be found anywhere in the world.

Extirpated (10 animals in Michigan, mostly fish): Any species which can no longer be found in the State of Michigan, but which can be found elsewhere in the world.

forest ecology basics

FOREST ECOLOGY BASICS

COMPOSITION

STRUCTURE

FUNCTION

composition

COMPOSITION

Genetic Diversity - Gene Pools

Species, Number of Species & Species Abundance

Populations of Animals & Plants

Species Associations & Community Diversity

Ecosystem Diversity

invasive species
INVASIVE SPECIES

Ecological - Economic - Aesthetic values

Displaces native plants & animals, including T&Es

42% of USA have declined due to exotics (FWS)

Degrades diverse biological communities

Can alter: hydrological patterns, soil chemistry, erodibility,

moisture-holding capacity, fire susceptibility

Harbors pests, pathogens, toxins

(i.e. garlic mustard, Scotch pine, soybean aphid)

Annual monetary costs run into the billions of dollars

Over 40,000 introduced species are catalogued in N.A.

a few u p examples
A FEW U.P. EXAMPLES

Gypsy Moth

Zebra Mussel

Purple Loosestrife

Spotted Knapweed

Garlic Mustard

Sea Lamprey

Beech Bark Disease

Dutch Elm Disease

Oak Wilt

White Pine Blister Rust

Eurasian Water Milfoil

Buckthorn (2 species)

Larch Casebearer

Asian Lady Beetle

Michigan Invasive Plant Council: http://www.msue.msu.edu/mipc

structure

STRUCTURE

Vertical & Horizontal

Spatial Heterogeneity & Density

Edge Effect

Islands & Fragmentation

Dead Trees & Snags

Micro-Environments

Appearance

vertical structure

VERTICAL STRUCTURE

Dominant

Co-Dominant

Co-Dominant

Intermediate

Intermediate

Suppressed

Shrubs

Ground Cover

Vertical structure refers to the “ladder-like” arrangement in a forest.

Adapted from Baughman, et al., 1993. Woodland Stewardship. P. 17.

horizontal structure

HORIZONTALSTRUCTURE

Stand density and crown cover within timber stands and across the landscape is horizontal structure.

40%

80%

100%

Adapted from Baughman, et al., 1993. Woodland Stewardship. P. 20.

edges snags and fragmentation

EDGES, SNAGS, ANDFRAGMENTATION

Edge Effect

Large Snags

Forest Fragmentation

Green. 1995. Birds and Forests. P.55. UM-Cartography Lab.

function

FUNCTION

Energy Capture & Trophics

Weathering

Mineral & Nutrient Cycling

Water Movement

Temperature & Humidity

Succession & Disturbance

energy capture

ENERGY CAPTURE

10%

Energy Capture

Trophic Levels

cycling

CYCLING

Ecosystem

Gains

Losses

Nutrient, Mineral, and Water Cycling

succession

SUCCESSION

Grasses & Forbs

Shrubs & Saplings

Young Forest

Mature Forest

Old Forest

Wisconsin DNR, 1995. Wisconsin’s Biodiversity as a Management Issue. P. 22.

disturbance

DISTURBANCE

Forested ecosystems are dependent upon disturbance for renewal and to provide biological diversity. The plants and animals in a forest don’t know whether the disturbance is caused by natural events or human-caused events.

Natural Events

Fire

Wind

Animals

Flooding

Diseases/Insects

Human-Caused Events

Fire

Harvest

Pollution

Development

Exotic Introductions

what is habitat

WHAT IS HABITAT?

  • Site Quality
  • Soil, Topography, Climate Extremes, Precipitation, Drought Periods
  • Space and Home Range
  • Proximity, Diversity, Seasonality
  • Food & Water
  • Seasonality, Variety, Preferences, Nutrition
  • Shelter
  • Weather, Cover, Young, Display, Resting/Roosting
  • Variability
  • Different Species Can Have Widely Different Requirements
  • That Can Change With the Seasons and Life Stage.
populations vs individuals
Age Structure

Sex Ratio

Natality & Mortality

Lifespan

Interspecific Dynamics

Intraspecific Dynamics

Territoriality

Home Range

Migrations

Carrying Capacity

POPULATIONS vs. INDIVIDUALS

Generalists?

Obligates?

Facultative?

Preferences?

Opportunistic?

population dynamics
S-curve of population growth

Annual cycles

Short and long-term cycles

Irregular and irruptive cycles

POPULATION DYNAMICS
s curve
s-curve

THEORETICAL POPULATION GROWTH

The “S” Curve

POPULATION

T I M E

annual cycles
annual cycles

ANNUAL CYCLES

hare cycle
hare cycle

LONG-TERM CYCLESCanada Lynx, Hudson Bay Company

1000s Furs

Year

Source: Elton & Nicholson (1942) in Dasmann (1964), p.173.

raccoon cycle
raccoon cycle

IRRUPTIVE CYCLESRaccoon, Hudson Bay Company

Number of Raccoons Taken

Source: Elton & Nicholson (1942) in Dasmann (1964), p.179.

kaibab deer
kaibab deer

AN IRRUPTIVE CYCLEKaibab Deer Herd

Long-termHabitat Damage

1000s of Deer

Source: Elton & Nicholson (1942) in Dasmann (1964), p.166.

deer habitat

DEER HABITAT

Keep in mind that the State of Michigan owns those deer and all the wildlife, unless …

Clearcut mature aspen stands, under 40 acres, maximize edge, feathered edges.

Encourage small oak groves, stump sprouts.

Plant small openings to nutritious perennial grasses & herbs.

In hardwoods, use group selection or small clearcuts to encourage oak and other browse species.

Consider the distance between winter thermal cover and winter feeding areas.

Remember that high deer populations can have negative effects on forest regeneration and other species of wildlife. High populations also stress agriculture and cause increased automobile crash rates.

You have lots of money for a fence!

grouse woodcock

GROUSE & WOODCOCK

Provide a multi-aged patchwork of aspen stands through age 40 or 50 years, especially mature male aspen.

Few grouse move more than two miles from where they’re born, or move beyond their 8-10 acre home range.

Provide drumming logs and space around the drumming logs.

If possible, watch where grouse feed in tree tops (easiest in spring during catkin flush) and favor popular clones over lesser used clones.

Work with adjacent landowners to make small harvests economical for the logger.

songbirds

SONGBIRDS

Harvest or cut in the fall or winter. Fewer birds, less disturbance, not the breeding season.

Think small scale, many species range within a half-acre during the critical breeding season.

Encourage berry and seed-bearing shrubs.

Encourage large snags … 6-10 per acre.

Canopy with 50-75 percent cover.

Good vertical structure.

Keep the livestock out.

Lots of edge.

Ignore most of the above if you’re interested in deep woods species.

forestry and wildlife

FORESTRY AND WILDLIFE

Woodland wildlife is managed by manipulating the forest to provide the kind and variety of habitat needed.

  • Forestry practices in the U.P. have many effects:
  • encourages plant diversity
  • encourages forest regeneration
  • causes multiple age distributions
  • provides “edge”
  • creates horizontal and vertical structure
  • adds more micro-environments
  • accelerates system metabolism & nutrient cycling