Bio478 Wildlife Management Arizona Game Animal Identification Lab




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BIO478 Wildlife Management Arizona Game Animal Identification Lab
Goals:

  1. Recognize and name (both common and scientific name for those with a scientific name listed here) the specimens represented in this lab. Specimens include mounts, skins, skulls and wings.

  2. Be able to place each into A) type of game animal (big game, upland game, etc), B) order/family and C) diving or bay ducks vs surface ducks, mergansers, etc

  3. To know the major waterfowl flyways (Figure 6-5 in text)

  4. Complete the assignments below.

Arizona Big Game:

O. Artiodactyla



F. Cervidae Elk Cervus elaphus nelsoni

White-tailed Deer (Coues (“Cow’s”) Deer in AZ) Odocoileus virginianus couesi

Mule Deer Odocoileus hemionus crooki (central and south Arizona)

Odocoileus hemionus hemionus (north of Mogollon plateau)

F. Tayassuidae Collared peccary or Javelina Pecari tajacu

F. Bovidae American Pronghorn Antilocapra americana americana (north of Mogollon plateau)

Sonoran Pronghorn Antilocapra americana sonoriensis (southwest Arizona)



Desert Bighorn Ovis canadensis mexicana

American Bison or Buffalo Bison bison


O. Carnivora

F. Felidae Mountain Lion, Puma or Cougar Felis concolor

F. Ursidae Black Bear Ursus americanus

O. Galliformes, F. Phasianidae Merriam’s Turkey Meleagris gallopavo merriami



US Native Big Game not resident in Arizona

Mountain Goat, Rocky Mountain Bighorn, Caribou, Black-tailed deer (subspecies of mule deer)



Small game:

Mammals: Tree Squirrels: Abert, Kaibab, Arizona Grey, Red Squirrel,

Jackrabbits, Cottontail rabbits:



Upland Game Birds:

Natives: Gambel’s quail, Scaled quail, Mearn’s (AKA Montezuma, Harlequin) quail, Blue grouse,

Exotics: Ring-necked pheasant, Chukar partridge

Non-Arizona species: Bobwhite quail, Ptarmigan, Ruffed grouse, Greater & Lesser prairie

chickens, Sharp-tailed Grouse, Sage grouse,

Migratory game birds:

Doves and pigeons O. Columbiformes: Mourning dove, white-winged dove, band-tailed pigeon, collared dove

Waterfowl and other water birds (See below)

Furbearers: Muskrat, beaver, river otter, weasel, raccoon, ring-tailed cat, badger, bobcat

Predators: bobcat, coyote, red fox, gray fox, striped, hog-nosed, and spotted skunks

Nongame Wildlife: all mammals and birds not considered big game, small game, furbearers or predators
Waterfowl - Swans, geese, brant, ducks, mergansers

All waterfowl belong to the Order Anseriformes, Family Anatidae. Within North America three subfamilies are currently recognized:



The swans and geese (including brant)

Swans The largest waterfowl. Two species in North America, distinguished by the color on the black beak. The more common Tundra Swan has a yellow spot and the rarer Trumpeter swan has pinkish stripe. Both swans can be distinguished from snow geese by their larger size and all white primaries.

Geese:

White-fronted goose or speckle belly - white patch at base of bill, dark spots on underside.

Canada goose – black head and neck, large white cheek patch

Snow goose - All white with black primaries. Larger than Ross goose with a black “grin patch” on pink bill.

Brant - small dark, sea goose, black head and neck, white patch on side of neck.

Ducks and mergansers.

Dabbling or surface ducks – larger wing:body ratio, jump from water, brightly colored speculum on wing of most

Teal- Small dabbling ducks. Often the first to migrate into areas from wintering or breeding grounds.

Green-winged teal – Chestnut head and green face patch of male. Green speculum of both sexes

Blue-winged teal – male - white crescent at base of bill in spring, wing pattern like cinnamon teal

Cinnamon teal – male reddish brown body, wing with large light blue patch and green speculum.

Large-bodied dabbling ducks


Mallard – blue speculum bordered by white. Male -Solid green head & yellow bill. Female - mottled orange bill.

Black Duck – a close relative of Mallard found in eastern N.A. Like female mallard but darker body.

Gadwall – overall plain gray and brown. Male has dark base of tail, wings have white, black and chestnut patches.

Northern Shoveller – both sexes with “spoonbill”, male has green head and white breast. Wings like cinnamon

teal but larger, more white on primary shafts



American Widgeon – large white patch on forewing, green and black speculum. Male -spotted white head & green face

Northern Pintail – male with white breast/ belly, gray sides and long “pin” tail feathers. Brown-greenish speculum.

Wood Duck- Glossy, brightly colored plumage of male and complex white face pattern. Both sexes have crests on head

Diving or Bay Ducks (these birds dive completely under water and run on surface to fly, lack bright speculum).

Canvasback. - Both sexes with sloping forehead that gives the head a “wedge” shape. Male with chestnut head. Wings

with faint grey stripe across primaries and secondaries.



Redhead - Male with chestnut, round head. Bill has light blue ring near. Wing like Canvasback but smaller.

Ring-necked duck. Common on lakes near Flagstaff. Dark purple-black head of male similar to Lesser Scaup but white

ring near tip of grey bill (both sexes). Wing - slight iridescent grey stripe across secondaries and black tertials.



Lesser Scaup – purple-black head and blue bill of male, white at base of solid grey/blue bill of female.

Common Goldeneye -Dark green head and round white patch at base of bill in male. Body overall white and black.

Female body soft grey with white ring on neck and reddish brown head. Bright yellow eye in both.



Bufflehead – Small body size, large white patch on dark iridescent head of male. White patch on cheek of female.

Wings small with large white patches



Ruddy Duck – Chunky, short necked duck with long, stiff tail that is often cocked up when swimming. In spring, males

are reddish brown with bright white cheek patches and bright blue bills. In winter, males look like females with overall

grayish-brown plumage and light cheek patch.

Mergansers – narrow-billed fish eaters.

Common Merganser Long, thin serrated bill. Male - Dark head and white body. Female -Reddish brown head and ragged crest. See photos of Hooded and Red-Breasted mergansers.
Other wetland species- Common Snipe, American Coot, American Woodcock, Sandhill Crane( social), Great Blue Heron

(solitary), Grebes, - (small, “tailess” diving fish eaters with short, straight or slightly upturned bills).
Assignment:

Go to the AZGFD Home page http://www.gf.state.az.us/. Choose “Hunting and Fishing” from the main menu. Click on “hunting “ and then go to Learn about Big Game


  1. Based on information in the Hunt History Section of each species, design a graph that shows the relative number of Elk, Mule Deer, White tail deer, Antelope, Desert Bighorn and Buffalo taken in the most recent years. For those species that have data for recent years given as a range of values (e.g 700-900),graph the mean (e.g 800 in this case) with error bars indicating the high and low values (See below how to do this). Be sure to include a figure legend as in the example below

  2. Based on the Hunt History Sections, answer the following :

A. What environmental factor(s) have a large effect on deer numbers?

B. What is the origin of Arizona buffalo?

C. What recent changes have been made in managing the take of bears?

  1. Go to Learn about Small Game and based on Hunt Histories Construct a graph showing relative numbers of Mourning Doves, White-winged Doves, Bandtail Pigeons, Quail and Squirrels taken in recent years.

  2. Go to Learn about Furbearers and answer the following:

A. Which furbearer has the largest annual take?

B. Which furbearer is now fully protected in Arizona?

  1. Go to Learn about Predators. Answer the following:

    1. Describe the relative number of coyotes, bobcat, foxes and skunks taken by hunters vs trappers.

    2. How has the relative take by hunters vs trappers changed in recent years?

    3. What potential health effect might this change have?


Go To: 2007 NFWS Report, That website is http://www.fws.gov/migratorybirds/reports/reports.html. Click on Waterfowl

Population Status 2007 to answer questions 6 and 7.



  1. Scroll through the document until you get to the figures showing duck population trends through time. Based on these graphs, state which duck species you consider to be of current management concern and why.

  2. Using the NFWS graphs for total number of ponds and the total number of ducks (the first duck graph) through time, make an X-Y scatterplot of the number of ponds versus the total number of ducks for the last 16 years (you will have to make rough estimates by eye from these graphs, but if you do so carefully any real pattern should still emerge). How does your graph compare to Fig 11-4 in your text? How do you feel about using a pond index as an estimate of waterfowl populations based on your graph versus that in Fig 11-4?

Turn in your graphs and answers at the beginning of next lab and be prepared to answer questions based on them. Follow the format below for your write-up shown on the following page.

BIO 478 Game animal lab assignment 2006 J. Q. Student


  1. Insert black and white EXCEL Graph of mean annual hunter harvest of big game species that looks like graph in #3 below. For those species that have data for recent years given as a range of values (e.g 700-900), graph the mean (e.g 800 in this case) and add error bars indicating the high and low values

  2. A) The environmental factors having the largest effect on Arizona’s deer population are (is) ….

  1. Arizona’s buffalo (bison) ….

  2. Bears can no longer be ….








Figure 1. Mean annual hunter harvest of squirrels, rabbits and quail (error bars indicate high and low numbers) taken by hunters per year in Arizona in late 1990’s.


  1. A) The furbearer with the largest take in Arizona is…

  1. The furbearer that is fully protected in Arizona is the ….




  1. A) The relative number of coyotes, bobcats etc taken by hunters is ____ relative to the number taken by trappers

  1. The relative number taken by trappers has…

  2. This could potentially impact human health by…

6) Waterfowl: Based on the NFWS 2004 Report, I feel the duck species of concern are … I selected these (this) species because ….



7) Paste in a black and white scatter plot (with legend as in Figure 1 above) and answer the questions.
Need Help Graphing in Excel for Big Game Exercise? Follow these steps:

  1. Place the names of the species to be compared into each cell of a column, one name per cell.

  2. Place the number harvested in the next column. For those species that have a range of animals harvested (e.g 700-900 harvested) place the mean in this column (e.g. (700+900)/2). with a single number harvested given mean values for each species. (e.g. take the highest and lowest values reported for a species, add them, divide by 2)

  3. Place the difference between the mean and the highest reported value in the next column or row. This will be your error measurement when you add the error bars to your bar graph. (Note that this number will be the same if you calculated the difference between the mean and the lowest value)

  4. Highlight the 2 columns or rows with your animal names and mean values.

  5. Click on the graph Icon. Select column graph (the one without 3-D effects). You should see your graph. Hit next.

  6. Type in the x-axis title (game species) and the y-axis title (mean number harvested)

  7. Click Next, then Finish. You should see your graph imbedded in your worksheet. Click on the “series” box and hit delete. You don’t want that cluttering your graph.

  8. Click on one of the horizontal lines running parallel to the X-axis and hit delete. That should remove the lines.

  9. Click on the gray background and hit delete. That should get rid of the gray background

  10. Double click on one of the bars. Under AREA, select none. You should now have a nice clear bar with only a black outline, just the way an editor wants it!

  11. Double click on the bars again. Note the tabs across the top of the pop-up. Select “Y-Error Bars”. Click “Custom” and note that the cursor is now in the + box. Highlight the column or row on your spreadsheet where you put the differences between the mean and the highest or lowest estimate. Click in the next box (-) and do the same thing. Hit OK. You should have a beautiful black and white graph, complete with error bars.

  12. You can now select the whole thing by clicking on it (make sure the entire box is selected, not just the graph inside it), copy it and paste it into your word document.


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