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Chapter 8: Enriching and Managing Urban Forests for Wildlife1

Joseph M. Schaefer2

Abstract

Many positive outcomes result from enriching and managing urban forests for wildlife. However, effective management requires careful planning. Baseline data on wildlife species that are currently using the site should be collected prior to the implementation of any plans. A site evaluation is needed to determine what ecosystem components need to be installed to improve the ecological value of the property. Clear goals and objectives must be established to effectively guide the process. Three approaches to implementing a plan are managing habitat, stocking species, and controlling negative impacts of people and pets. Periodic monitoring of species occurrence on the site will help to measure success and will also indicate ways the plan should be revised to obtain better results if necessary.

Introduction

The concept of accommodating both humans and wildlife in the same area is nothing new. Humans have always lived with other animals. However, over geologic time, human populations have increased and drastically extended their dominance on the landscape. Many plant and animal species that were once wild are now domestic. Ecosystems that evolved through millennia of natural processes and stochastic events have been severely humanized within decades.

Many benefits can result from efforts to enrich and manage wildlife in urban forests. Native animals attracted to properly managed sites can provide recreational and educational opportunities for local residents (Figure 1). People involved in planning, installing and using areas managed for wildlife realize how decisions can directly influence environmental quality and are likely to develop a better land ethic. These areas also include the use of native plants that require less water and nutrients than exotic grasses and ornamental plants.

Figure 1. 

Native animals attracted to properly managed sites can provide recreational and educational opportunities for local residents.


Credit:

Larry Korhnak


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Developing a Plan for Wildlife

Effective wildlife management cannot be done on just a whim. It requires careful planning. The current condition of the site(s) needs to be determined, and then a team of experts and stakeholders should discuss and agree on what they want to accomplish. An effective wildlife management plan should contain base-line data, a site evaluation, goals, and objectives. For more information on developing plans for restoring the urban forest ecosystem, see Chapter 5 - Developing a Management Plan.

Base-line Data

Data on the current status of wildlife should be collected before any other decisions are made. These data will show which species are already present on the project site(s). By comparing this list to a list of species that have been documented to occur in the same habitat types or ecosystems within the same geographic range, you can identify those species that could be accommodated. A team of experts can determine the species or groups of species on which the project should focus.

Small Snakes, Turtles, Lizards, Frogs, Toads, Salamanders, Mice, and Shrews

Acceptable scientific survey methods should be used to collect these data. A drift-fence, pitfall trap array is the best method to collect animals that crawl or walk on the ground (for example, small snakes, turtles, lizards, frogs, toads, salamanders, mice, and shrews) (Figure 2). The materials needed for this include a shovel, two 5-gallon plastic buckets with lids, tin snips, and one 10-foot x 2-foot x 1-inch board. In your project area, at least 5 yards from an edge, dig a hole about 2-feet deep and 1-foot wide. Make several holes in the bottom of the buckets by drilling or hammering a nail or screwdriver. The holes in the bottom will help rain water drain out of the bucket so caught animals will not drown. Place one of the 5-gallon buckets in the hole so the top edge is level with the ground surface. Cut a 1-inch slit about 3 inches deep in the rim of the bucket with tin snips. Dig a 10-foot long trench about 3 inches deep out from the slit in the bucket. Lay the board down next to the trench to determine where to dig a hole for the second bucket (about 9.5 feet from the first bucket). Dig a hole for the second bucket; cut a slit in the rim; stand the board on its side in the trench and in the slits in the two buckets; and backfill dirt against both sides. You may need to support the board in the middle with a stake or two. If your site is large enough, you can use several bucket arrays placed in different microhabitats (for example, shaded and unshaded areas) so you can see if some species have a preference for different areas. Shade each bucket with the lid elevated at least 6 inches above the ground to allow larger animals such as box turtles to enter. Place a damp sponge in the bottom on the buckets so captured animals will not dry out. Collect these data for four consecutive days of each season.

Figure 2. 

A drift-fence, pitfall trap array is the best method to collect animals that crawl or walk on the ground, such as small snakes, turtles, lizards, frogs, toads, salamanders, mice and shrews.


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Larger Mammals

Larger mammals do not have to be caught to record their presence. Raccoon, opossum, fox, and others can be surveyed with tracking stations (Figure 3). A tracking station consists of a bare soil area (about 3-feet in diameter) covered with a layer of dry Quickcrete (to better detect prints). In the center, place a cotton ball immersed in oil or water from a tuna fish can and placed on a stick pushed into the ground. Check for tracks early each morning for four consecutive days.

Figure 3. 

Larger mammals such as raccoons can be surveyed with tracking stations.


Credit:

Larry Korhnak


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Birds

A stationary count method is recommended to most effectively detect birds in various layers of vegetation (Figure 4). Count stations should be permanently marked outside and on a map to assure reuse consistency. Select locations that will give you the best chance of detecting birds on the site. Usually, at least one station located about 50 feet from the site will give you an opportunity to see birds without scaring them away. Survey at this station first. Then go into the site to survey at one or more stations. Space your stations about 100 yards apart. If your site is smaller, then use only one station. Approach each station quietly. Wait one minute at the station for the birds to get used to you before counting. Record all birds seen or heard for the next 5 minutes. Count only those birds that appear to be using the site, not those merely flying over it. Bird counts should begin as close to sunrise as possible on calm, clear mornings. Bird surveys should be conducted four consecutive days of each season.

Figure 4. 

A stationary count method is recommended to most effectively detect birds in various layers of vegetation.


Credit:

Larry Korhnak


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Site Evaluation Checklist

A quick-and-easy instrument can be used to assess the ecological value of a site. Wildlife biologists have been using tools such as this Site Evaluation Checklist (see Appendix 1 at the end of the chapter) for decades to estimate site suitability for certain species. This particular Checklist is designed to evaluate a site based on the occurrence and diversity of important ecosystem components. It helps to focus attention on the items that are missing and how a manager can increase the ecological value by installing them properly.

Goals and Objectives

The next step is setting clear goals and objectives that will guide the process from beginning to end (see also Chapter 5 - Developing a Management Plan). Goals are broad statements that give a project general direction; objectives provide specific destinations and time lines for different aspects of the project. An example goal for wildlife enrichment and management could be to enrich wildlife within the Cincinnati park system. An example of a specific objective would be to increase the current number of native wildlife living in the Cincinnati Zoological Park by 5 within the next 3 years. Progress toward achieving objectives can be measured; progress toward goals cannot (Figure 5).

Figure 5. 

An example goal for wildlife enrichment and management could be to enrich wildlife in a park.


Credit:

Larry Korhnak


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Implementing the Plan

There are three different approaches to executing a plan to enrich and manage wildlife: managing habitats; stocking species; and managing people and pets. These approaches are not exclusive of and can often complement each other.

Managing Habitats

A habitat is simply where an animal lives. It is their address (Figure 6). When using the term wildlife habitat, you must always refer to an animal that lives or may potentially live there. And, of course, the animal(s) would not be able to live there if the area did not accommodate their survival needs. To say that a particular piece of land is good wildlife habitat is meaningless. You must say whether it is good for black bear, pigeons, snakes or some other animal or group(s) of animals. In other words, it is a good place for them to live because it provides all of the life-sustaining requirements for the species. To manage a habitat is to make the place more or less suitable for a particular species depending on whether the goal is to increase or decrease numbers of the species. The latter goal may be appropriate for species that are involved in damage or nuisance situations.

Figure 6. 

A habitat is simply where an animal lives. It is their address.


Credit:

Larry Korhnak


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

A natural ecosystem is a place where living and non-living components interact in a condition that has been relatively untouched by recent human society. Living components include plants that fix energy from the sun and manufacture food for the other living components, animals. Non-living components include soil, water, and minerals that are important for the survival of plants and animals. Ecosystems can be good or bad places (habitats) for different species to live depending on whether or not the ecosystem contains all of the components that the species needs to survive. A tropical rainforest is a very productive ecosystem, and provides good habitats, or living conditions, for many species. However, it is not good habitat for polar bears.

Many ecosystems in their existing condition do not provide good habitats for species that once thrived in them. As a result of human development and land uses, many natural ecosystem components are often destroyed and the interactions that made them productive ecological systems no longer take place. We can be good conservationists by putting back or restoring as much of the original ecosystem as possible. The theory behind improving habitat is to build it and they will come.

Some sort of general knowledge of ecosystems may be needed to help make this seemingly endless task more feasible. Keep in mind that any living or non-living component of a natural ecosystem supports more natural ecosystem interactions than asphalt and concrete. Even plant-free, sandy areas may provide habitat to support a food chain consisting of ants, ant-lions, and lizards. The following are some ecological concepts that will help you to be most effective in restoring an ecosystem.

The most fundamental concept that applies to any ecosystem restoration effort is the more diversity, the better. Restoration undertakings are most cost efficient and ecologically effective when the greatest diversity of ecosystem components is provided. For example, $100 could purchase 5 holly trees that will provide food for a variety of bird species. Or, this same amount of money could purchase one holly tree, an oak tree, a birdhouse, some butterfly and hummingbird nectar plants, and material to build a pond. These diverse ecosystem components can provide not only berries for birds, but also acorns for squirrels, nesting cover for chickadees, nectar sources for dozens of butterfly species and hummingbirds, and a place for eggs and tadpoles of many frog species. This diversity concept can also be applied to each type of ecosystem component (e.g., trees, shrubs, perennials, birdhouses, and water). For more information on biodiversity, see Chapter 3 - Biodiversity.

Living and non-living ecosystem components installed in urban areas help to restore the natural value of sites making them better places for native wildlife to live. In other words, management practices that would include adding native components would improve the habitats for many native wildlife. These components provide some of the essential requirements for animals: food, cover, water, and space.

Food

Plants are the primary source of nutrients and energy for animals. Some animals only eat plants (herbivores or vegetarians), some eat plants and other animals (omnivores), and some eat only meat (carnivores). All of this eating transfers energy and nutrients to animals in the ecosystem's food web. When animals eliminate some of the undigested food or die, this nutrition is available for plants. This cycle of life continues within the ecosystem as long as there are sufficient food components (for more information on nutrient cycle, see Chapter 2 - Basic Principles).

Animals eat many plant parts. Squirrels eat seeds, nuts, bark, and buds. Insects eat leaves and fruits. Birds eat nuts, seeds, and fruits. Some of these plant parts are only available at certain times of the year. Buds are mostly available in the spring, and fruits and nuts in the fall. Adult cardinals eat mostly seeds during winter, but eat insects when they are feeding nestlings in the summer. Bluebirds eat insects during summer, but include fruit in their winter diet. If a site does not have all of the foods required at different times of the year, animals must find food somewhere else and may leave the site temporarily or permanently. Diets of each individual (including humans) also change with age. Baby humans consume different foods than adults. Baby butterflies (caterpillars) eat leaves of specific plant species while most adults eat flower nectar (Figure 7).

Figure 7. 

Baby butterflies (caterpillars), such as this Gulf Fritillary caterpillar, eat leaves of specific plant species while adults eat flower nectar.


Credit:

(right) by Larry Korhnak


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Diversity in structure and species of plants is much better than a large number of one species (Figure 8). Food from some plants is most available during summer, others during the fall or some other season. Variety provides food year-round. Some animals nest close to the ground but feed on fruits or insects of taller plants. Others nest in the highest parts of the tallest trees and feed on or close to the ground. A diversity of vertical vegetation layers will provide suitable vertical habitat for the greatest variety of animal species (Figure 9).

Figure 8. 

A diversity of vertical vegetation layers will provide suitable vertical habitat for the greatest variety of animal species.


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Figure 9. 

In developed areas vertical vegetation layers are often eliminated.


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Cover

Like humans, wildlife species need protection from both predators and weather. Cover also helps restrict the amount of food available at any time to each level in a given food web so that the energy flow will be sustained generation after generation. For example, if bird nests were highly visible to predators, every egg and nestling would be eaten and no offspring would be available to continue the important balance between predators and prey.

Cover requirements are almost as diverse as food requirements and can be provided by both plant and non-plant ecosystem components. Some plants are excellent fruit or nut producers, but their foliage is not thick enough to offer good cover (for example, dogwood trees). Dozens of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians use tree cavities for nesting and sleeping (birdhouses can help to artificially replace this natural component). Many birdhouses of the same size will accommodate only those birds of a certain size, but a diverse selection of birdhouses can provide nesting cover for birds as large as barred owls and as small as chickadees (Figure 10). Dozens of species use underground burrows for nesting, sleeping and hiding.

Figure 10. 

A Great-Crested Flycatcher finds cover in a birdhouse.


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Water

Fresh water is essential for most plants and wildlife. Many animals need to drink water, and other species such as frogs and toads require standing water during all or some of the year to complete their life cycles. A water source on one piece of property may be critical to all wildlife living in the entire neighborhood (Figure 11).

Figure 11. 

A fresh water source, such as this constructed pond, is essential for wildlife.


Credit:

Larry Korhnak


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

While traditional, elevated birdbaths are accessible only to birds, a pond with gently sloping sides allows many kinds of wildlife to choose different depths to satisfy their requirements. Even small depressions in rocks or soil that retain water only temporarily help satisfy wildlife water requirements. Some amphibians mostly use temporary ponds that hold water only for a few months out of the year.

Space

An animal's need for space is simply the size of an area containing sufficient food, cover, and water for the creature to survive. This size varies depending on the density and availability of these resources. For example, a cougar (Felis concolor) needs about 100 miles2 (Nowak and Paradiso 1983) and an Eastern robin (Turdus migratorius) needs about 1/3 acre (Young 1951; Figure 12).

Figure 12. 

An animal's need for space is simply the size of an area containing sufficient food, cover, and water for the creature to survive. A robin needs about 1/3 acre.


Credit:

Thomas G. Barnes


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Most wildlife species are not able to satisfy their space requirements on a typical urban site. Because animals readily move across property lines, larger suitable habitats can be accomplished if adjacent properties containing suitable habitats are connected to the project site.

As previously mentioned, most species have vertical space requirements too. Some, such as the American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos), nest high in tall trees but feed on the ground. Others, like the hooded warbler (Wilsonia citrina) and brown thrasher (Toxostoma rufum), nest close to the ground but feed in small trees.

Other Habitat Concepts

Type of Ecosystem

Ecologists have developed a system of assigning names to ecosystems according to their unique natural characteristics. This also makes mapping, management, and in some cases land use regulation easier. Processes, interactions and components that define ecological systems occur in patterns across the landscape. Fire frequency is greater in prairie, chaparral, and savannah sites than in riparian areas. Areas with sandy/loamy soils are more suitable than clay for burrowing animals such as gopher tortoises, pocket gophers and ground squirrels.

Each ecosystem shares some characteristics with adjacent ones, but is also very different from them. For example, surface water flows downhill carrying nutrients from upland to wetland sites. If a prairie ecosystem is drastically altered during the process of building a school facility, a highway, a house, or a shopping center, all of the processes, interactions and components unique to the prairie are also altered as well as those in adjacent areas that were shared. Replacing a prairie with temperate forest components would not be the best way to restore the ecosystem that was destroyed. Restoring the proper piece of the landscape puzzle is the best way to improve the ecology of the site so it interacts best with surrounding areas (Figure 13).

Figure 13. 

In a landscape, each ecosystem shares some characteristics with adjacent ones, but it is also very different from them. Restoring the proper piece of the landscape puzzle is the best way to improve the ecology of the site so it interacts best with surrounding areas.


Credit:

Hans Riekerk


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Corridors

Many intact, relatively unaltered ecosystems have been reduced in size or fragmented due to various human development activities. These smaller fragments often are not large enough to support larger wildlife species. However, these fragments can be connected with corridors that are ribbons of suitable habitat for specific species connecting larger habitat blocks. This connection effectively increases the total size of the remnant ecosystem and its ability to maintain sizable wildlife populations (Figure 14). Genetic variation is maintained because genetic material is carried freely through the corridor and among large habitat blocks by dispersing wildlife. Scattered animals also can use corridors to recolonize areas that have suffered from local extinctions. Corridor width is the most important variable affecting its function. Wider strips are more valuable than narrow ones. For more information on corridors and ecological connectivity, see Chapter 3 - Biodiversity.

Figure 14. 

Corridors may connect ecosystem fragments and provide suitable habitat for some species.


Credit:

Henry Gholz


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Edge Effects

One obvious characteristic of urban forests is the sharp contrast between various land uses/vegetation on these sites. Many human-made, sharp edges or borders between vegetation types are found in this type of landscape. These sharp edges cause many problems for wildlife and their habitats. Human-modified areas surrounding a forest fragment are usually altered into earlier successional stages (Figure 15).

Figure 15. 

Human-made sharp edges or borders between vegetation cause many problems for wildlife and their habitat.


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These areas are attractive to pioneering species that invade several hundred meters into the adjacent forest fragment and alter the plant species composition and relative abundance which in turn affects the suitability of the habitat for various wildlife species. Along forest edges, avian brood parasites (cowbirds), nest predators (small mammals, grackles, jays, and crows), and non-native nest hole competitors (e.g., starlings) are usually abundant. Cowbirds feed in open areas and lays their eggs in other species' nests found along forest edges. Many birds cannot distinguish this foreign egg from their own and devote all of their energy to raising the young cowbirds. The eggs of the host species are either removed by the adult cowbird or are pushed out of the nest by the more aggressive cowbird nestling. The result is cowbird numbers increase at the expense of the host species (Figure 16).

Figure 16. 

Along forest edges, avian brood parasites are usually abundant; here a cowbird has laid its eggs in a thrush's nest.


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A field-forest edge also attracts a variety of open-nesting birds, but such an edge functions as an "ecological trap." Birds nesting near the edge usually have smaller clutches and are more subject to higher rates of predation and cowbird parasitism than those nesting in either adjoining habitats (Brittingham and Temple 1983). A general principle is that the greater the contrast between adjacent vegetation types, the greater the edge effect.

Noise associated with construction, operation, and maintenance of developments can cause harmful impacts on wildlife. Animals that rely on their hearing for courtship and mating behavior, prey location, predator detection, homing, etc., will be more threatened by increased noise than will species that use other sensory modalities. However, due to the complex interrelationships that exist among all the organisms in an ecosystem, direct interference with one species will indirectly affect many others.

Any forest tract has a "core area" that is relatively immune to deleterious edge effects and is always far smaller than the total area of the forest (Figure 17). Relatively round forest tracts with small edge-to-interior ratios would thus be more secure, whereas thin, elongated forests (such as those along unbuffered riparian strips) may have very little or no core area and would be highly vulnerable to negative edge effects.

Figure 17. 

Any forest fragment has a core area relatively unaltered by deleterious edge effects.


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Edge effects have been shown to negatively impact wildlife species within at least 300 feet of forest boundaries (Janzen 1986, Wilcove et al. 1986). Studies of nature reserve boundaries have provided data that support the need for buffer zones of decreasing use outside reserve boundary (Adams and Dove 1989) (Figure 18). The core of these areas must be protected from cats, dogs, human activities, noise, predators, exotic competitors, parasitism, and other detrimental effects of development.

Figure 18. 

The core area of a fragmented forest may be protected by the use of buffer zones.


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Connection of Wetlands and Uplands

Wetlands are ecosystems that are periodically inundated with water. They perform many functions including flood control, water quality enhancement, water supply, nutrient cycling, and good habitat for many species (Figures 19 and 20). Most species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians feed or breed in wetlands but also need access to surrounding uplands to fulfill all of their life-sustaining requirements. For example, aquatic turtles spend most of their time feeding on plants and animals in the water. However, one day each year, the female must travel out of the water and find relatively sandy upland soil to dig holes and lay eggs. Some of these animals that move back and forth between wetland and upland areas become food for upland animals, adding both energy and organic matter to the upland community. Surface runoff then carries some of the organic material back into the wetlands. The preservation or restoration of linkages between uplands and wetlands is essential for preserving and enhancing the structure and function of both systems.

Figure 19. 

Most species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians feed or breed in wetlands but also need access to surrounding uplands to fulfill all of their life-sustaining requirements. This wetland, for instance, has no upland connection.


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Figure 20. 

This wetland has good upland connections, essential to most species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians to fulfill all of their life-sustaining requirements.


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Stocking Species

Wildlife are stocked or transplanted in a number of situations. Recovery plans for some species in danger of becoming extinct include captive breeding programs that include releasing the offspring into suitable habitat areas. Game farms raise quail, pheasant, and other animals and release or stock them in areas for hunters. Sometimes, animals living on a proposed construction site may be removed and transplanted to an area not slated for development. Other stocking situations involve live-trapping animals that are causing damage or nuisances and releasing them in areas far away from the site of infraction. The condition of the receiving habitat is an important consideration in all cases. If the habitat is evaluated as suitable, then you must answer the question, why is the species not already present in sufficient quantities?

The consequences of stocking species are extremely complex. Many wildlife species can carry dozens of diseases. Unless they are tested and found to be disease free, introducing individuals into a new area might enhance the spread of diseases (Figure 21). Also, new animals in an area can raise numbers above carrying capacity (the number of animals that can be supported by the areas resources).

Figure 21. 

The consequences of stocking are extremely complex. Many wildlife species, such as this gopher tortoise, might spread diseases if introduced to a new area.


Credit:

Larry Korhnak


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Managing People and Pets

Some wildlife adapt to increased human activities in urban environments, but others do not. Human-caused sounds, such as lawnmowers, leaf-blowers, cars and trucks, and radios, may interfere with important wildlife communications. Many species are not tolerant of and will not live in areas with high noise levels.

Education is the preferred method to manage people. The goal of these educational programs should be to change the behavior of people within different target audiences so their activities are more compatible with the wildlife management plans. People who use the site or affect the site by their activities need to understand the consequences of their existing behavior and what they need to do to become less damaging members of their ecosystem.

Predation and harassment of wildlife by free-ranging domestic cats and dogs are other challenges in urban ecosystems (Figure 22).

Figure 22. 

Predation and harassment of wildlife by free-ranging domestic cats and dogs are a challenge in urban ecosystems.


Credit:

Larry Korhnak


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Cats can be especially devastating to ground feeding and ground breeding species. Hunting is a feline instinct, and predation rates are not related to hunger. One study reported that a single cat, which regularly consumed domestic food, killed over 1,600 mammals and 60 birds in Michigan during an 18-month period (Bradt 1949). Domestic cat predation has extirpated and endangered several bird and mammal species and populations (Humphrey and Barbour 1981; Gore and Schaefer 1993). Another study concluded that domestic cats were killing about 39 million birds in Wisconsin each year (Coleman and Temple 1996).

Management of people and pets may include restricting use of some areas where sensitive species may live and educational programs informing people of the detrimental impacts of free-ranging pets.

Monitoring and Evaluating

Changes in wildlife use of the site should be monitored at least annually during the growing and breeding seasons. Use the same methods that you did for the baseline surveys. Winter surveys of migratory species using the site are also recommended. Continue to compare these data to lists of species that have been documented to occur in the same ecosystems within the same geographic range. A chart comparing the number of wildlife species found on the site (y-axis) with time (x-axis) will illustrate the success of your project (Figure 23).

Figure 23. 

Comparing the number of wildlife species found in an area during several years will help illustrate progress toward restoring wildlife.


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Revising the Plan

Annual meetings should be held to discuss the results of the surveys and other pertinent information. If progress toward achieving stated goals is satisfactory, continue as planned. If results are not acceptable, decisions should be made for revising the methods. Project managers also need to be able to adapt to unexpected events, such as damaging storms that may alter original management plans (Figure 24).

Figure 24. 

Annual meetings should be held to discuss the results of the surveys and other pertinent information.


Credit:

Larry Korhnak


[Click thumbnail to enlarge.]

Suggested Readings

Allison, J. 1991. Water in the Garden. Little Brown & Co., New York, NY 10020.

Butts, D., J. Hinton, C. Watson, K. Langeland, D. Hall, and M. Kane. 1991. Aquascaping: Planting and Maintenance. Cooperative Extension Service Circular 912, IFAS, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Cerulean, S., C. Botha, and D. Legare. 1986. Planting a Refuge for Wildlife. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Tallahassee, FL 32399.

Dennis, J. V. 1985. The Wildlife Gardener. Alfred. A. Knopf, New York, NY 10022.

Martin, A. C., H. S. Zim, and A. L. Nelson. 1951. American Wildlife & Plants: A Guide to Wildlife Food Habits. Dover Publications, Inc., New York, NY 10022.

National Audubon Society Field Guide Series. Publisher: Chanticleer Press, Inc., New York, NY 10012. Includes: Birds (Eastern Region), Birds (Western Region), Butterflies, Mammals, Reptiles and Amphibians, Trees (Eastern Region), Trees (Western Region), Wildflowers (Eastern Region), and Wildflowers (Western Region).

Ortho Books. 1988. Garden Pools & Fountains. Ortho Books, Sanfrancisco, CA 94104.

Schaefer, J. and G. Tanner. 1998. Landscaping for Floridas Wildlife: Re-creating Native Ecosystems in Your Yard. University Press of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Golden Field Guide Series. Publisher: Golden Press, c/o Western Publishing Company, Racine, WI 53404. Includes: Birds of North America, Trees of North America, Amphibians of North America, and Reptiles of North America.

The Golden Nature Guide Series. Publisher: Golden Press, c/o Western Publishing Company, Racine, WI 53404. Includes: Golden Guide to Pond Life, Golden Guide to Butterflies and Moths, Golden Guide to Birds, Golden Guide to Trees, Golden Guide to Reptiles, and Golden Guide to Mammals.

The Peterson Field Guide Series. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, MA 02116. Includes: A Field Guide to Birds, A Field Guide to Butterflies, A Field Guide to Mammals, A Field Guide to Animal Tracks, A Field Guide to Bird Nests, and A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians.

Xerxes Society. 1990. Butterfly Gardening. Sierra Club Books, San Francisco, CA 94104.

Cited Literature

Adams, L. W. and L. E. Dove. 1989. Wildlife reserves and corridors in the urban environment: a guide to ecological landscape planning and resource conservation. National Institute for Urban Wildlife, Columbia, 91.

Bradt, G. W. 1949. Farm cat as a predator. Michigan Conservation 18:23-25.

Brittingham, M. C. and S. A. Temple. 1983. Have cowbirds caused forest songbirds to decline? Bio Science 33:31-35.

Coleman, J. S. and S. A. Temple. 1993. On the prowl. Wisconsin Natural Resources 20:4-8.

Gore, J. A. and T. L. Schaefer. 1993. Cats, condominiums and conservation of the Santa Rosa beach mouse. Abstracts of papers presented. Annual Meeting of the Society for Conservation, Tucson.

Humphrey, S. R. and D. B. Barbour. 1981. Status and habitat of three subspecies of Peromyscus polionotus in Florida. Journal of Mammalogy 62:840-844.

Janzen, D. H. 1986. The eternal external threat. Pages 286-303 in M. E. Soul. (ed.), Conservation Biology: the science of scarcity and diversity. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, 584.

Nowak, R.M., Paradiso, J.L. 1983. Walker's Mammals of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1065-1066.

Wilcove, D. S., C. H. McLellan, and A. P. Dobson. 1986. Habitat fragmentation in the temperate zone. Pages 237-56 in M. E. Soule (ed.), Conservation Biology: the science of scarcity and diversity. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, 584.

Young, H. 1951. Territorial behavior of the Eastern Robin. Proceedings of the Linnaean Society of New York 58-62: 1-37.

Tables

Appendix 1. 

Site Evaluation Checklist -- This checklist can be used to determine the ecological value and site suitability for certain species at any urban site.

COMPONENTS

POINTS

FOOD COMPONENTS

Point Values

Butterfly plants (Choose one from both nectar and larvae categories)

1 species of nectar plants

2 pts

2-5 species of recommended nectar plants

4 pts

> 5 species of recommended nectar plants

5 pts

Recommended larvae plants for 1 species of butterfly

3 pts

Recommended larvae plants for 2-5 species of butterfly

4 pts

Recommended larvae plants for > 5 species of butterfly

5 pts

Total (of maximum possible 10 pts)

__ pts

Hummingbird plants (Choose one)

1 species of recommended nectar plants

2 pts

2-5 species of recommended nectar plants

5 pts

> 5 species of recommended nectar plants

10 pts

Total (of maximum possible 10 pts)

__ pts

Native plants (Choose one from each of the 2 following groups)

1 species of recommended native plants

1 pt

2-5 species of recommended native plants

3 pts

> 5 species of recommended native plants

5 pts

Recommended plants from 1 category (grasses, grasslikes, herbaceous, vines, small shrubs, tall shrubs, small trees, large trees)

1 pt

Recommended plants from 2-3 categories (grasses, grasslikes, herbaceous, vines, small shrubs, tall shrubs, small trees, large trees)

3 pts

Recommended plants from >4 categories (grasses, grasslikes, herbaceous, vines, small shrubs, tall shrubs, small trees, large trees)

5 pts

Total (of maximum possible 10 pts)

__ pts

Bird feeders (Choose one)

1 feeder without black oil sunflower seeds

2 pts

1 feeder with black oil sunflower seeds

5 pts

>1 feeder without black oil sunflower seeds

3 pts

>1 feeder with black oil sunflower seeds

10 pts

Total (of maximum possible 10 pts)

__ pts

COVER COMPONENTS

Point Values

Bird houses (Choose one; numbers of houses are for each half acre or half of a soccer field)

1 house of recommended specifications for 1 species

1 pt

2-3 houses of recommended specifications for 1 species

3 pts

>3 houses of recommended specifications for 1 species

4 pts

2-3 houses of recommended specifications for 2-3 species

6 pts

>3 houses of recommended specifications for 2-3 species

7 pts

>3 houses of recommended specifications for >3 species

10 pts

Total (of maximum possible 10 pts)

__ pts

Treefrog houses (Choose one; numbers of houses are for each half acre)

1 house in appropriate location

3 pts

2-5 houses in appropriate locations

7 pts

>5 houses in appropriate locations 10

10 pts

Total (of maximum possible 10 pts)

__ pts

Bat houses (Choose one)

1 house of recommended specifications and placement per half acre

5 pts

>1 house of recommended specifications and placement per half acre

10 pts

Total (of maximum possible 10 pts)

__ pts

Vertical dead trees (Choose one; at least 1 foot in diameter and 10 feet high)

1 per acre

5 pts

2 per acre

7 pts

3 per acre

10 pts

Total (of maximum possible 10 pts)

__ pts

Burrows (Choose one from each of the 3 following groups)

4 inch diameter opening

3 pts

> 4 inch diameter opening

4 pts

Depth of 1-3 feet

3 pts

Depth > 3 feet

4 pts

Vegetation at least 1 foot tall within 1 foot of entrance

2 pts

Total (of maximum possible 10 pts)

__ pts

Brush piles (Choose one)

1 brush pile

5 pts

> 1 brush piles

10 pts

Total (of maximum possible 10 pts)

__ pts

Rock piles (Choose one)

1 rock pile

5 pts

> 1 rock piles

10 pts

Total (of maximum possible 10 pts)

__ pts

WATER COMPONENTS (Choose one only if it contains water for at least 1 month)

Above ground bird bath(s)

2 pts

On ground, < 3 inches deep bird bath(s)

3 pts

Installed pond with steep sides and no areas < 3 inches deep

3 pts

Installed pond with sloping sides and some areas < 3 inches deep

4 pts

Installed pond with marsh or swamp plants from recommended list

5 pts

Installed pond with marsh or swamp plants from recommended list and connected to a restored or natural upland area

6 pts

Natural body of water (pond, lake, stream, or river) with native marsh or swamp plants

8 pts

Natural body of water with native marsh or swamp plants and connected to a restored or natural upland area

10 pts

Total (of maximum possible 10 pts)

__ pts

SPACE COMPONENTS

Points Value

Size of Site (Choose one)

Less than 1 acre

1 pt

1 to 5 acres

2 pts

5 to 10 acres

3 pts

10 to 20 acres

4 pts

20 to 50 acres

5 pts

50 to 100 acres

6 pts

100 to 500 acres

7 pts

500 to 1000 acres

8 pts

1000 to 5000 acres

9 pts

more than 5000 acres

10 pts

Total (of maximum possible 10 pts)

__ pts

Connected to > 1 acre of good habitats on adjacent properties

Yes

10 pts

Total (of maximum possible 10 pts)

__ pts

Natural succession area

Natural succession area set aside as recommended

10 pts

Total (of maximum possible 10 pts)

__ pts

Annually mowed area

Annually mowed area set aside and maintained as recommended

10 pts

Total (of maximum possible 10 pts)

__ pts

Grand Total (of maximum possible 160 pts)

__ pts

Footnotes

1.

This document is FOR97, one of a series of the School of Forest Resources and Conservation Department, Florida Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida. Original publication date August 2001. Revised February 2008. Reviewed November 2012. Visit the EDIS website at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu.

2.

Joseph M. Schaefer, professor, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation and Director, Center for Natural Resources, Cooperative Extension Service, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, University of Florida, PO Box 110230, Gainesville, FL 32611.


The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.