Understanding Wildlife Habitat What is Wildlife Habitat? The kind of place where an… – – – – Animal Bird Fish or plant live in a natural state. Elements of Habitat • COVER • FOOD • WATER • SPACE These elements must be kept in a favorable balance for Wildlife to survive. Balance means… • Elements are available in adequate amounts • Are of high enough quality to meet the needs of animals • Are distributed where animals need them Carrying Capacity • Number of animals a habitat can support over a given period of time • Not a constant number • Changes as the condition of the habitat changes Providing Cover • • • • • • • Breeding area Nesting area Hiding place Resting place Safe place to sleep Feeding area; and Travel route How can we help?? • • • • Growing vegetation Provide structures Learn cover needs Plant trees and shrubs of various sizes and species • Nest boxes for wood ducks • Conifer plantings for ruffed grouse **Provide vegetative travel lanes between types of cover Providing food • Animals must eat – Get food by grazing – Killing – Eating other animals • Bird feeder (small scale) • Larger feeding stations Can be harmful? • If not done properly • Animals (deer) may become too dependant • May encourage overpopulations Alternative to feeding… • Encourage growth of natural sources of food • Plant trees – Wild apple trees • Crops – Wild rice • Plant crops that provide both food and shelter for animals and birds.