Wildlife Survival


Ecology of Populations:

  • the study of how populations interact with their environment

Genetic Diversity: is a measure of the ________ of different versions of the ___________ code within an individual species

Population: a group of individuals of the ________ species

Communities: two or more populations of _________ species in the same area

Abundance is the number of ________ in a population and Diversity is the number of _________species in a community.

  • As you go farther North, the abundance of wildlife __________ while the biodiversity _____________

Ecosystem: a community plus its _________ factors

  • Abiotic (_______-living) ex. soil, rain, ____________
  • Biotic Factors (living factors)

Population dispersion can be:

  • random
  • uniform
  • ____________ (where individuals flock together)
    • plants that grow together in a region
    • fish that swim together to avoid predation and birds that migrate in groups.
Population Growth
  • Biotic Potential- ___________ growth rate of a population given unlimited resources in the environment.
    • A female human can have up to _______ children!!

~Activity: Turkey Trouble, How Many Bears Can Live in This Forest?

Carrying Capacity- ____________ number of individuals a given environment can sustain
  • Know the major the limiting factors (any resource that is in short supply) that could influence the population size of a species.
    • Examples could be space, ________, or water.

Population curves

  • J-curve- unrestricted, _________ growth. This spells trouble for the environment and the ultimate health of the population because of course nothing can grow forever.
    • Have you seen human population growth curve? It looks exactly like a _____-curve!!!!
  • S-curve- arithmetic growth. The growth rate is _________ as the size of the population approaches the carrying capacity and the population eventually becomes _________.
  • Predator Prey Oscillation Curve. The growth curves oscillate slightly out of synch.

~Activity: Carrying Capacity, Oh Deer!


Invasive species

Exotic organisms introduced into habitats where they are not _______ and take ______.

Invasive organisms can be thought of as biological pollution. There are more than ________ alien species in the United States.



     Pond Hopping Snakehead fish, Brown Tree Snake (poisonous, 10' long bird eating snake in Guam), Mankind!

Specific traits of invasive species that allow them to out compete native species:

  • the ability to grow and reproduce more ________ than native species
  • _______ sexual maturity
  • the ability to ________ young widely
  • tolerance of a ________ range of environmental conditions
  • no natural _________ in new habitat

~Activity: World Travelers


Natural Extinction: Massive ecological extinctions (dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous period and two thirds of all marine life at the end of the Permian period) were caused by natural causes, perhaps triggered when large _________ struck the earth.

We are now in a sixth mass extinction, but its rate is much faster. By the year 2050, we could lose _____ to _____ of all the species on the Earth. The first five mass extinctions took 10 _________ years on average to repair by natural evolution. The next one will take a lot _________ to recover from because humans are destroying the topography, landscape AND the _________ in which the plants and animals lived.

Habitat Destruction: The _________ reason for the current increase in extinction is clear cutting land.
Habitat Fragmentation: Habitat fragmentation divides populations into _________ groups that are vulnerable to catastrophic events. It also limits population so that an insufficient number of animals exist to cushion it from inherited ________ diseases or ailments.


Hunting and Trapping

Over harvesting (hunting and fishing) is responsible for __________ or extinction of many species.

  • Survival versus _____________
  • Regulated hunting and ______ population explosion
  • Harvesting of animals and extinction.
    • ____________ Pigeons plunged from hundreds of millions to zero.
    • The _______ came within a few hundred rifle shots of extinction.

What valuable commercial products were over hunted/fished in our region?

  • ___________
  • mink
  • deer
  • ___________
  • sturgeon
  • trout

Be able to explain the role of hunting and trapping for game species and the ripple effect on other species



Animal Migration- seasonal or periodic movement of animals in response to changes in climate or ______ availability, or to ensure reproduction.

Migration most commonly involves movement from one area to another and then back again. This round-trip, or return migration, may be of a seasonal nature, as in the spring and autumn migrations of many ________. Or it may require a lifetime to complete, as in various species of Pacific __________ that are born in freshwater streams, travel to ocean waters, and then return to the stream where they were born to breed before dying.

Animal migration is becoming more risky because of loss of _________ in the case of birds or global warming in the case of salmon.

Activity: Great Bird Migration and Hidden Hazards


Endangered Species

Extirpated Species: species no longer found in ______ _________ but living elsewhere
            Wolverine (1840)
            Elk (1830)

Endangered Species: Species whose population is dangerously ________. Highest rate are in freshwater ecosystems
            Gray Wolf (once extirpated in 1890)
            Cougar (once extirpated in 1908)
            Short nose sturgeon

Threatened Species: Populations of species that border on becoming ____________ unless action is taken
            Canadian Lynx (1890)
            Bald eagle

Successful Comebacks: Back from the brink of ____________!
            White Tailed Deer
            American Beaver
            Peregrine falcon
            (Bald Eagle)
            Osprey, California Condor from captive breeding

Characteristics common to endangered species:

  • __________ body size
  • Requires very ________ or ________ territory
  • _________ to reproduce
  • Doesn't tolerate _________ interference well
  • _________ eaters
  • Tasty or has other desirable trait to humans (___________ for hats in the case of snowy egrets)
  • ________ tolerance for a range of environmental conditions

~Assignment /Activity

  • Name 3 Endangered or Extinct Species and describe the reasons for their population fall.