Long Island Regional Envirothon, Ltd.
423 Griffing Avenue • Riverhead, New York 11901 • 631-852-3287 • email

"Long Island's premier environmental studies program for high school students in Nassau and Suffolk Counties."


2018 Long Island Envirothon Brochure - Click Here...

20th Annual L.I. Envirothon
• Wednesday, April 25, 2018 •  Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts

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WILDLIFE
Station Master
Kevin Jennings
NYS DEC
email

• Learning Objectives

• Study Outline

• References

• Glossary

Learning Objectives

For successful completion of the wildlife section, contestants should be able to:

1. Assess suitability of habitat for given wildlife species
2. Identify signs of wildlife
3. Cite examples of food chains based on specific site conditions
4. Analyze/Interpret site factors that limit or enhance population growth, both in the field and with aerial photos
5. Interpret significance of habitat alteration due to human impacts on site
6. Evaluate factors that might upset ecological balance of a specific site
7. Identify wildlife by their tracks, skulls, pelts, etc.
8. Interpret how presence of wildlife serves as an indicator of environmental quality
9. Identify common wildlife food

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Study Outline

I. Identification of Wildlife Species (New York Native Birds, Reptiles and Mammals)

A. Mounts, pictures, color slides, Silhouettes
B. Signs (tracks, calls, skin, fur/hair, feathers, gnawings, rubbings, droppings and scat)
C. Wildlife Food

II. Basic Wildlife Survival Needs

A. Food
B. Water
C. Shelter
D. Habitat

III. Specific Adaptations to the Environment

A. Species Role in its Ecosystem

IV. Wildlife Behavior

A. Predator/Prey Relationship
B. Examples

V. Food Chains/Webs

A. Examples

VI. Threatened, Endangered, Extirpated and Extinct Species

A. Examples
B. Causative agents: pathogen, pollutant, invasive species, habitat loss, etc.
C. Methods Used to Improve populations of these species

VII. Loss of Habitat

A. Impact on Species: Examples
B. Methods for Restoring Habitat

VIII. Potential Impact of Introduction of Non-native Species

A. Examples of Introduced, Invasive and Re-introduced Species
B. Threats to Wildlife and Biodiversity

IX. Wildlife Populations

A. Concepts of Carrying Capacity and Limiting Factors
B. Factors Limiting or Enhancing Population Growth

X. Protection, Conservation, Management and Enhancement of Wildlife Populations

A. Refuges, Preserves and Nature Areas
B. Licenses/Permits
C. Legislation: Endangered Species Act, Pittman-Robertson Act, Lacey Act

XI. Wildlife Migration

A. Examples

XII. Ecological and Economic Importance of Wildlife

A. Examples
B. Deer Population Management
C. Disease: rabies, West Nile virus, botulism, chronic wasting disease, etc.

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References

Copies of the books listed below are available for borrowing from your Soil & Water Conservation
District office. To make arrangements call Nassau at 516-364-5860 or Suffolk at 631-727-2315 x3

Aging a Deer - USGS

Anderson, S. H. (1991).  Managing Our Wildlife Resources 2nd ed.  Englewood, New Jersey:  Prentice Hall Inc. Available at www.amazon.com $81.95 new -- $3.00 used or at the public library.

Bellrose, F. C. (1976). Ducks, Geese and Swans of North America. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com used $2.03

Benyus, J. M. (1989).
Field Guide to Wildlife Habitats of the Eastern United States. New York, New York: Simon and Schuster. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com new $20.95 – used $1.99

Bird Finder.  Nature Study Guild www.amazon.com $4.80

Eastern Bluebirds - Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection

Borror, D. J. and R. E. White (1970). A Field Guide to Insects of North America and Mexico.  Boston:  Houghton Mifflin Company. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com new $124.75 – used $113.71

Burt, W. H. and R. P. Grossenheider (1980).  Peterson Field Guides:  Mammals.  Boston:  Houghton Mufflin Co. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com new $13.60

Caughley, G. and A. Sinclair (1994).  Wildlife Ecology and Management.  Cambridge, Massachusetts:  Blackwell Sciences Inc. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com new $49.95 – used $33.00

Chapman. J. A. and G. A. Feldhamer (Ed.) (1982).  Wild Mammals of North America: Biology Management, Economics.  Baltimore, Maryland:  John Hopkins University Press.   Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com $32.55

"A Citizen's Guide to the Management of White-tailed Deer in Urban and Suburban New York".  NYS DEC (1999).

Conant, R. and J. T. Collins (1991).
Peterson Field Guides: Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Boston Houghton Mifflin Co. Available at the public library. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com new $14.28 – used $4.40

Hammit, W. and D. Cole (1987).  Wildland and Recreation Ecology and Management.  New York:  John Wiley & Sons. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com $90.99

Introduction to Wildlife Management.  James Shaw. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com $1.00

Johngard, P.A. (1973).  Grouse and Quail of North America.  University of Nebraska Press. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com $25.00

Knight, F. (1998).
New York Wildlife Viewing Guide. Helena, Montana: Falcon Publishing Inc. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com new $8.95 – used $.01

Knight, R, and K. J. Gutzwiller (1995).  Wildlife and Recreationists.  Washington, DC:  Island Press. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com $74.99

Kricher, J and G. Morrison. (1988) Peterson Field Guides: Ecology of Eastern Forests. New York, Houghton Mifflin Company. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com $13.60.

Martin, A. C., H. S. Zim and A. L. Nelson (1961). American Wildlife and Plants. A Guide To Wildlife Food Habits. New York, New York: Dover Publications Inc. Easy to find newer 1985 edition by Martin and Nelson. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com new $94.89

Milne, L. and M. Milne (1980).
The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects and Spiders. New York, New York: Alfred A. Knopf. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com new $13.57 used $9.99

Missouri Mammals.  Missouri Conservation Commission:  Jefferson City, Missouri (Fact sheets on individual species).

Morrison, M. L., B. G. Mannon and R. Williams (1998).  Wildlife Habitat Relationships.  Madison, Wisconsin:  University of Wisconsin Press. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com $45.00

Murie, O. J. (1982).
A Field Guide To Animal Tracks. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com new $13.57 – used $11.14

Niering, W. A. (1989). The Audubon Society Nature Guides: Wetlands. New York, New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com $2.95

Schemnitz, S.D. (Ed.) (1980). The Wildlife Management Techniques Manual, 4th ed. Bethesda, MD: The Wildlife Society, Inc. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com $6.49

Searfoss, G. (1995).
Skulls and Bones. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com new $14.56 – used $10.00

Stokes, D. (1979).
Stokes Nature Guides, A Guide to Bird Behavior, Volumes I used $1.96 , II used $1.34, & III used $2.20. Little, Brown and Company (Canada).

Sutherland, W. J. AND D.A. Hill (1995).
Managing Habitats for Conservation. New York, New York: Cambridge University Press. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com new $50.00 – used $33.91

Sutton, A. and M. (1990).  The Audubon Society Nature Guides: Eastern Forest.  New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. Available at the public library or for purchase at www.amazon.com used $2.00

Track Finder.  Nature Study Guild www.amazon.com $4.80


Websites

• NYS DEC Endangered Program

• NYS Fishing Regulations Guide

• NYS Hunting and Trapping Guide

• NYS DEC Bureau of Wildlife

Glossary

Abiotic – a non-living factor in an environment i.e. light, water, temperature.

Accipiter – A hawk of the genus Accipiter, characterized by short wings and a long tail.

Adaptation - Adaptation is the evolutionary process whereby a population becomes better suited to its habitat. This process takes place over many generations, and is one of the basic phenomena of biology.

Aestivation – dormancy, generally seasonally.

Amphibian - Typically, an animal that, when young, lives in an aquatic habit and breathes by gills; as an adult, an amphibian lives primarily in a terrestrial habitat breathing by lungs and through moist glandular skin. For example, frogs and salamanders are amphibians.

Aquatic – growing, living in or frequenting water

Arboreal – tree dweller

Autotroph – an organism capable of manufacturing its own food by synthesis of inorganic materials, as in photosynthesis.

Bag Limit - The maximum number of animals allowed to be taken by an individual in regulated hunting. For example, a deer hunter may kill one deer per year.

Bergman’s rule – among forms of a particular species, body size tends to be larger in the cooler regions of its range and smaller in the warmer regions.

Bioaccumulation - refers to the accumulation of substances, such as pesticides, or other organic chemicals in an organism.

Biomagnification - is the increase in concentration of a substance, such as the pesticide DDT, that occurs in a food chain.

Bird Migration - Bird migration is the regular seasonal journey undertaken by many species of birds. Bird movements include those made in response to changes in food availability, habitat or weather.

Brood – the offspring of a bird just hatched.

Browse – (v) to eat the twigs and leaves of woody plants; (n) commonly used in wildlife management to signify brushy plants utilized by deer.

Buteo – Any of the various hawks of the genus Buteo, characterized by broad wings and broad, rounded tails.

Carapace – the upper or dorsal surface of a turtle's shell.

Carnivore – An animal belonging to the order Carnivora, including predominantly meat-eating mammals.

Carrion – the bodies of dead animals usually found in nature in a decaying state.

Carrying capacity – The number of wildlife species that a given unit of habitat will support without damage to the habitat.

Cast – to regurgitate indigestible prey remains

Chronic Wasting Disease - is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of mule deer, white-tailed deer, elk, and moose. TSEs are caused by unusual infectious agents known as prions.

Circadian – designating a biological period of about 24 hours.

Climax stage – the final stage of plant succession.

Colony Collapse Disorder - is a phenomenon in which worker bees from a beehive or European honey bee colony abruptly disappear.

Consumptive use – any use that involves activity resulting in the loss of wildlife i.e. hunting.

Contiguous forests – Forests that share an edge or boundary, touching.

Coverts – One or more of a group of feathers covering the bases of the longer main feathers of a bird's wings or tail.

Covey – a small group or flock, often a family group, of birds such as quail.

Crepuscular – appearing or becoming active at twilight or dawn.

Clutch – eggs laid and incubated by a female bird per nesting.

Corridor – areas of continuous habitat that permit animals to travel securely from one habitat to another.

Dabbling ducks – duck species that principally feed in shallow water by “tipping up” or dabbling on the surface.

Depredation – the act of preying upon. Mostly wildlife damage to farmers crops.

Diurnal – A term used to describe an animal that is most active by day.

Diving ducks – duck species that feed principally by diving below the surface.

Dorsal – of or pertaining to the upper surface.

Dump nest – eggs deposited by more than one female in a single nest.

Ecological Niche - The role played by an organism in a biological community: its food preferences, its requirements for shelter; its special behaviors, and the timing of its activities (nocturnal or diurnal). The ecological niche of organism has little to do with where it is found but much more to do with its function or role in the community (for example, predator or decomposer) and how it performs that function.

Edge – the place where two or more different plant communities, successional stages or vegetative stages come together or meet.

Endangered - A species that is in danger of extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range. (A threatened species is one that is likely to become endangered.)

Endemic – confined to a certain area or region.

Estivation – a state of inactivity during prolonged periods of drought or high
temperatures.

Extirpation - is the condition of a species (or other taxon) which ceases to exist in the chosen area of study, but still exists elsewhere. (Also see local extinction.)

Exotic – Not a native species. Was either introduced or escaped.

Fauna - Animals, especially the animals of a particular region or period considered as a group.

Flora - A list of the species of plants that make up the vegetation for an area.

Flyway – fly routes established by migratory birds.

Food chain - The transfer of food energy from organisms in one nutritional level to those in another.

Food web – a complex and interlocking series of food chains.

Forest Game – Game species that are managed by the DNR whose habitat needs are found mainly in forests. These species in Maryland include wild turkey, ruffed grouse, gray and red foxes and squirrels.

Furbearers – Various animals that have a thick coat of soft hair covering their bodies.

Game animal - Legal designation for animals which may be managed and hunted only under regulation.

Guard hairs – Long, coarse hairs that forms a protective coating over an animal's under fur.

Harriers – Any of the various slender, narrow-winged hawks of the genus Circus, which prey on small animals.

Harvest – proportion or number of a wildlife population brought to bag by hunters; in wildlife management, killing an animal.

Herbivore – An animal that eats plants.

Herpetology – The scientific study of reptiles and amphibians as a branch of Zoology.

Hibernation – passing the winter or a portion of it in a state of sleep

Imprinting - A rapid learning process by which a newborn or very young animal establishes a behavior pattern of recognition and attraction to another animal of its own kind or to a substitute or an object identified as the parent.

Indigenous – a naturally occurring species.

Insectivore – a mammal or organism that feeds on insects.

Inventory – the process of counting or identifying animals.

Keel – a ridge down the back or along the plastron of a turtle or a longitudinal ridge on a dorsal scale in certain snakes.

Lateral – pertaining to the side.

Limiting factor – Anything that affects a species population. It could result from causes in nature as well as human activities. Examples include food, water, shelter, space, disease, predation, climatic conditions, pollution, hunting, poaching and accidents.

Litter – the number of young born with each birthing.

Local extinction - Local extinction is the condition of a species (or other taxon) which ceases to exist in the chosen area of study, but still exists elsewhere. This phenomenon is also known as extirpation. Local extinction's are contrasted with global extinctions.

Lyme Disease - is an infectious disease caused by bacteria. It is spread by infected ticks. Symptoms may include fever, headache, fatigue, depression, and a circular skin rash. Left untreated, later symptoms may involve the joints, heart, and central nervous system. In most cases, the infection and its symptoms are eliminated by antibiotics.

Mandibles – either the upper or lower part of the beak in birds.

Mange - is a class of persistent contagious skin diseases caused by parasitic mites.

Marsupial – A mammal of the order Marsupialia that includes kangaroos, opossums, bandicoots and wombats. These females have pouches that contain mammary glands and that shelter the young until fully developed.

Melanistic – Abnormally dark pigmentation of the skin or other tissues. Black pigmented.

Microfauna - Very small animals, barely visible to the eye.

Molt – the process of shedding or replacing feathers.

Monogamous – term used when one male breeds with one female.

Mortality (death rate) – the number of animals that die each year.

Natality (birth rate) – ability of a population to increase; reproductive rate.

Natural selection - is the process by which traits become more or less common in a population due to consistent effects upon the survival or reproduction of their bearers. It is a key mechanism of evolution.

Niche – that part of a habitat particularly suited to the requirements of a given species.

Nocturnal – active by night; the opposite of diurnal.

Nonconsumptive use – any use that does not directly kill wildlife, i.e. bird watching, hiking, photography.

Omnivore – An animal or organism that feeds on both animal and plant matter.

Owl pellets - Regurgitated, undigested bones, fur, feathers compacted into a pellet.

Ornithology – The scientific study of birds as a branch of zoology.

Parasite – an organism that lives by deriving benefit (usually doing harm) from another organism.

Passerine – Birds of the order Passeriformes, which include perching birds and songbirds such as the jays, blackbirds, finches, warblers and sparrows.

Pelage – The coat of a mammal, consisting of hair, fur, wool or other soft covering, as distinct from bare skin.

Philopatry – annual homing to the same nesting area and often the same nest site.

Polygamy or polygyny – term used when a male animal breeds with many females.

Population – the number of a particular species in a defined area.

Population dynamics – factors regulating population levels including natality, productivity and mortality.

Plastron – The ventral surface of the shell of a turtle or tortoise.

Raptor - Eagles, hawks, owls, and other birds that are predators (preying upon other animals.)

Rare species - Species that populate a site or region infrequently, or in very low numbers. Rare species are not necessary endangered.

Recruitment – addition of a number of young to an adult population of breeders.

Riparian area – the area of influence between upland habitats and aquatic habitats.

SAV (submerged aquatic vegetation) – vascular plants that live and grow completely underwater.

Scat – The excrement droppings of an animal.

Scavenger - An animal that eats the dead remains and wastes of other animals and plants.

Species – populations of animals that possess common characteristics and freely interbreed in nature and produce fertile offspring.

Species diversity - The number of different species and their relative abundance in a given area.

Species richness – the number of wildlife species found in a given area.

Taxonomy – the science of the classification of animals or plants.

Territory - An area used for breeding, feeding, or both, which is defended by an animal against others of the same species.

Threatened species - A species that, in nature, is abundant, but because of a decline in its numbers, may become endangered.

Torpor – temporary loss of all or part of the power of motion.

Trophic Cascade - occur when predators in a food web suppress the abundance of their prey, thereby releasing the next lower trophic level from predation (or herbivory if the intermediate trophic level is an herbivore).

Trophic Dynamics - is the system of trophic levels, which describes the position that an organism occupies in a food chain: what an organism eats, and what eats the organism.

Trophic level – a feeding level in the food chain of an ecosystem characterized by organisms that occupy a similar functional position in the ecosystem.

Upland game – Game species that are managed by the DNR whose habitat needs are usually found in upland areas.

Ventral – of or pertaining to the lower surface.

Waterfowl – water birds, usually referring to ducks, geese and swans.

West Nile - is a virus of the family Flaviviridae. It is found in both tropical and temperate regions. It mainly infects birds, but is known to infect humans, horses, dogs, cats, bats, chipmunks, skunks, squirrels, and domestic rabbits. The main route of human infection is through the bite of an infected mosquito. Approximately 90% of West Nile Virus infections in humans are without any symptoms.[

White Nose Syndrome - wildlife health crisis affecting bats, the white-nose syndrome, is named for the white fungus evident on the muzzles and wings of affected bats.

Zoologist - A specialist who studies the animal kingdom with respect to the behavior of individual animals, species, or both.

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Mike Clark, NYS DEC
Former Wildlife Station Master



2010 L.I. Envirothon
Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts



2009 L.I. Envirothon
Old Bethpage Village Restoration



2008 L.I. Envirothon
Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts



2007 L.I. Envirothon
Old Bethpage Village Restoration



2007 L.I. Envirothon
Old Bethpage Village Restoration



2007 L.I. Envirothon
Old Bethpage Village Restoration



2007 L.I. Envirothon
Old Bethpage Village Restoration



2006 L.I. Envirothon
St. John's University - Oakdale Campus



2005 L.I. Envirothon
St. John's University - Oakdale Campus



2005 L.I. Envirothon
St. John's University - Oakdale Campus



2005 L.I. Envirothon
St. John's University - Oakdale Campus



2004 L.I. Envirothon
St. John's University - Oakdale Campus



2002 L.I. Envirothon
Belmont State Park


Long Island Regional Envirothon, Ltd • 423 Griffing Avenue • Riverhead, New York 11901 • 631-852-3287 • email