West Virginia Master Naturalist Class Description
||Learn what changes the landowner can make to encourage wildlife
to use his/her property, be it a back yard or large acreage.
|| 4 hours
||Handouts: Plans for birdhouses and feeders, etc., lists of native plants useful to wildlife.
||The student will gain a basic understanding of
- the three basic requirements of wildlife (food, water, cover)
and some ways to provide them.
- why some animals
are desirable in the garden and around the home, while others
may be a problem.
- how to garden
for wildlife, including which plants are best for food and cover
in various habitats.
- building bird
houses, bat houses, bird feeders, etc. (with printed instructions)
West Virginia Master Naturalist Class Outline
|| HABITAT IMPROVEMENT
Basic requirements of wildlife
- Why encourage wildlife?
- Esthetic values; fun and educational to watch
- Diversity is beneficial to our gardens
- Many animals need our help
- Potential problems
- Herbivores in the garden
- Rabies, raccoon roundworms
- Dealing with orphaned animals
Cover for protection and nesting
Plantings for wildlife
- Managing for natural production of food (plantings, etc.)
- Feeding (when appropriate; how what, and where)
- General tips for success with native plants
Some trees, shrubs, and vines
Managing woodlots for more than timber
- Appropriate habitat
- Season for planting/transplanting
- Some species easy, others difficult to grow
- Plan for all seasons
- Importance of old, dead, and decaying trees
- Brush piles, stumps, and logs
- Openings and edges; value of diversity in species and age
- Ponds, large and small
Woodworking for wildlife: nest boxes, feeders, etc.
- Farm ponds and wildlife
- Developing a spring or seep as a small pond
- Adding water to your back yard
Useful references and other information sources
- population growth
- population cycles: growth and decline
- adaptation and evolution
- r and K selection/survivorship curves
- life histories