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Wildlife Basics

Building a successful wildlife enterprise requires knowing some fundamental concepts about wildlife.  How can you build a car without first recognizing the parts and understanding how they work together?

Wildlife basics are:

  • Knowing key wildlife management concepts, and
  • Understanding the species specifics of the wildlife you are interested in managing.  In other words, understanding their life history and habitat needs.
  • Knowing your plants.  In most cases, wildlife management is plant management.  Practically all wildlife use plants for food or cover.  Even carnivores are only one or two steps from species that rely on plants.  Therefore, being able to identify plants is basic to understanding wildlife habitat.

Once you’ve mastered wildlife basics, you’re ready to learn habitat management practices to improve wildlife on your land.

Learning Objectives for this module:

By the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • define habitat, carrying capacity, food chain, succession, and other basic wildlife management concepts.
  • judge wildlife habitat based on the amount of interspersion, arrangement, edges, and contrast, and assess the land’s value to the wildlife species of interest.
  • describe life history, habitat needs, and population sustainability for bobwhite quail, mourning dove, waterfowl, and white-tailed deer.
  • identify at least ten native plants that provide habitat for bobwhite quail, mourning dove, waterfowl and white-tailed deer.


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