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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.
There’s much more to wildlife ecology than . . .
romance and cute little animals!
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 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.
Number of Species
Plus . . .
?? Other Taxa
Source: Winter 2000 “Spotting Scope.” MDNR databases. MSU Extension sources.
ABOUT 400SPECIES OF VERTEBRATES IN THE U.P.
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.
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.
Genetic Diversity - Gene Pools
Species, Number of Species & Species Abundance
Populations of Animals & Plants
Species Associations & Community Diversity
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.
Beech Bark Disease
Dutch Elm Disease
White Pine Blister Rust
Eurasian Water Milfoil
Buckthorn (2 species)
Asian Lady Beetle
Michigan Invasive Plant Council: http://www.msue.msu.edu/mipc
Vertical & Horizontal
Spatial Heterogeneity & Density
Islands & Fragmentation
Dead Trees & Snags
Vertical structure refers to the “ladder-like” arrangement in a forest.
Adapted from Baughman, et al., 1993. Woodland Stewardship. P. 17.
Stand density and crown cover within timber stands and across the landscape is horizontal structure.
Adapted from Baughman, et al., 1993. Woodland Stewardship. P. 20.
Green. 1995. Birds and Forests. P.55. UM-Cartography Lab.
Energy Capture & Trophics
Mineral & Nutrient Cycling
Temperature & Humidity
Succession & Disturbance
Nutrient, Mineral, and Water Cycling
Grasses & Forbs
Shrubs & Saplings
Wisconsin DNR, 1995. Wisconsin’s Biodiversity as a Management Issue. P. 22.
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.
THEORETICAL POPULATION GROWTH
The “S” Curve
T I M E
LONG-TERM CYCLESCanada Lynx, Hudson Bay Company
Source: Elton & Nicholson (1942) in Dasmann (1964), p.173.
IRRUPTIVE CYCLESRaccoon, Hudson Bay Company
Number of Raccoons Taken
Source: Elton & Nicholson (1942) in Dasmann (1964), p.179.
AN IRRUPTIVE CYCLEKaibab Deer Herd
1000s of Deer
Source: Elton & Nicholson (1942) in Dasmann (1964), p.166.
I “toad” you there was more to wildlife ecology than romance and cute little animals!
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!
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.
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.
Woodland wildlife is managed by manipulating the forest to provide the kind and variety of habitat needed.