March 15, 2005

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Wildlife Management Facts
What is Wildlife Management? Idaho Fish and Game Logo
The Modern System of Wildlife Management

     The purpose of wildlife management is to maintain populations of wild animals at levels consistent with the best interest of wildlife and the public. Reaching this goal is somewhat difficult. Many agencies are involved in wildlife management. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U. S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service are agencies that are involved at the national level in wildlife management. Each of the 50 states has an agency responsible for wildlife within its borders. In Idaho, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game has this job.

A Wildlife Manager's job...
     Making sure we have enough members of a species, but not too many!      Can there be too many animals? How does this happen? Disease, loss of habitat, improper hunting management, drought and invasive species are some of the reasons why numbers of animals can change.

     The incredible variety of life on earth is called biodiversity. It is important to maintain the biodiversity of an area.

Variety is important! Our quality of life depends on it!

Find out how at: Biodiversity Basics. Check out Wildlife Web1 Wildlife Web2

How Wildlife Management boosts Biodiversity

Adult wolf     
     Exterminated from Yellowstone National Park eight decades ago, gray wolves are back—and boosting the park’s biodiversity.

This site shows how species are linked and dependent upon each other within their ecosystems.

Mountain Goat     Sometimes the predators eat all the prey!
Sometimes there are no predators and the prey numbers keep growing. The balance of predator and prey is important in wildlife management.

Quick Frozen Critters takes a look at predator/prey relationships

Lessons from the Plateau will shed more light on the subject.

Fast Food: A Predator's World is a video available through Idaho Dept of Fish and Game. Call 208-287-2889 to purchase or borrow a copy

     One of the terms wildlife managers must know is "carrying capacity" which means the number of animals a given area can support. Biologists use this idea of carrying capacity to determine how much habitat must be conserved to maintain healthy wildlife populations.

     White-tailed Deer FawnAnother word to know is habitat which is any place on the earth that contains everything an animal needs to survive and reproduce, such as food, air, water, shelter, rainfall, temperature, soil type and space.

     You can create and maintain a backyard wildlife habitat. Visit
Backyard Wildlife Habitat, an interactive website just for kids. Build a ladybug house, take a spider safari, or adopt a wooly bear.

Question marksWhat about niche?

     Animals and plants all have very special jobs to play in their communities. The niches they fill help keep their habitats healthy.

From Nature Works, "What's My Role?" Activity

Endangered Animals

Un-endangered Animals

   Badger  By now you know that loss of or change in habitat and ecosystems can lead to a decline in biodiversity. It can also lead to the complete loss of an entire species!! This is called extinction.
      Animals that are in danger of becoming extinct are called endangered. Snoop around this site to find out what endangered means, how you can help, and learn about the species in the spotlight. Then watch the Slide show about endangered and threatened species.

     Extinction is a natural process, but the current extinction rate is not. Endangered can mean that there is still time to reverse the process. Learn about animal species that were managed appropriately and are in abundance today. View a video and download teacher's guide and worksheets about this topic.

The Father of Wildlife Management

Aldo LeopoldRead the biography of Aldo Leopold one of the country’s authorities on native game animals.

Leopold is considered the "father" of the profession of wildlife management in America

Role of Hunting
The Idaho Department of Fish and Game has a responsibility to preserve, protect, perpetuate and manage all wildlife in the state and to provide continued supplies of such wildlife for hunting, fishing and trapping. The role of hunting can be a controversial and emotional topic. View a video and download teacher's guide and worksheets about this topic.

Continue your journey by following these links....

Wildlife LINKS           Wildlife VOCABULARY           Wildlife REFERENCES

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