Shared Flashcard Set


American Wildlife
Environmental Studies
Undergraduate 4

Additional Environmental Studies Flashcards





American Marten


description: dark brown body with cream colored patch on chest, cat-like ears, sort of larger


range: Canada and Alaska, northeastern US, mtns. of western US




habitat: dense forests at higher elevations, usu. old growth, *avoids open areas, adapted for movement in trees (chase squirrels)


diet: general, may hunt under snow (follow rodent into burrow)


litter: 2-5 kits, born in April


repro: general, den in hollow tree, hollow logs (may use old pileated woodpecker nest)


status: managed furbearer (harvested for fur in many parts of range, though NOT CA)

DECLINING in western US due to habitat fragmentation




description: dark brown (no white), elongated body, short ears (relatively small)


range: forested regions of Southern Canada and northeastern US, mountains of western US (not Alaska)

formerly inhabited much of eastern US




habitat: dense forests, found at lower elevations than Martens (usu. hardwoods)

adapted for movements in trees (chase squirrels)


diet: general, snowshoe hares and procupine are primary food in most of its range

effective and really the only predator of porcupines (eats its face off)


litter: 2-6 kits, born March-April


repro: general, den in hollow tree


status: STABLE to INCREASING in NE and midwest (trapping season reopened in these areas), overtrapping and habitat loss cause declines in early 20th cent. (many trapping seasons eliminated in US)

reintroduced in some palces for porcupine control




(aka "short tailed weasel")


description: dark brown with white underparts in summer (2 color phases: white in winter), black tip on SHORT TAIL


range: northern latitudes around globe




habitat: riparian woodlands, marches, shrubby fencerows, forest edges, usu. near water


diet: general, may hunt under snow during winter


litter: 4-9, born in May


repro: general, den in burrow (takeover dens of prey)


status: STABLE, trapped for fur

may be ag. pest because they raid henhouses, beneficial: rodent control


Long-tailed Weasel


description: yellow-white underparts (tends to have less neat edge and continues onto face), *LONGER tail than an ermine


range: most of North America to South America (lower than ermine)




habitat: near water


diet: general


litter: 4-8, born April-May


repro: general, den in burrow (eat rodent and take over its burrow)


status: STABLE, trapped for fur

occasionally raid henhouses, good mousers


Black-footed Ferret


description: buff coloered body with black head, *feet, and tip of tail


reange: originally inhabited most of prairie, now only exists in 3 introduce populations


habitat: prairies, usu. around prairie dogs towns


diet: small mammals, >90% prairie dogs


litter: 2-5, born in June


repro: general, but no delayed implantation, den in burrow (usu. prairie dogs')


status: federally ENDANGERED (one of 1st species protected by ESA)

declared extinct in wild in 1996, currently 3 reintroduced populations (need lots of prairie dogs, which can be problematic)


American Mink


decription: dark brown with *white chin patch*, fur is shiny even when not wet


range: across N. America except SW deserts




habitat: near water, primarily in forested regions


diet: varies by season

summer: MUSCRATS, crayfish, small frogs

winter: exclusively mammals, MUSCRAT

*think "muscrats and mink"


litter: 2-6, born April-May


repro: general, but no delayed implantation, den along stream or lake bank in a log, beaver or muscrat den


status: managed furbearer, populations STABLE (most mink pelts come from fur farms)




description: dark borwn body with 2 braod yellow stripes, LARGE "snowshoe" feet



range: northern forests, holarctic

always on the move




habitat: boreal forests and high mountains, COLD areas, very little info on natural history


diet: generalist carnivore, will eat carrion, capable of taking down prey as large as elk


litter: 2-5, born Jan-April


repro: general, females only mate every 2-3 years, den in any sheltered place


status: absent from musch of former range, extremely rare in lower 48, managed furbearer in Alaska and Montana


difficult to moniter because they have LARGE home ranges


American Badger


description: yellowish grey, flattened (vertically) body, black and white patterened face (black with 3 white stripes)


range: primarily occupies Great Plains, has expanded its range over the past century


habitat: dry, open country, adapted for burrowing lifestyle (burrows are used for resting, denning, escaping extreme weather)


diet: primarily burrowing animals


litter: 1-5, born in early spring


repro: general, dens in burrows


status: STABLE game species over range (not in CA), occasionally taken for fur

help control rodents, burrows can be a hazard to livestock


Western Spotted Skunk


description: white spot on head and *under each ear, 4 white stripes down sides and back


range: W. US and Mexico




habitat: brushy or wooded areas, prairies


diet: small mammals and insects, occasionally fruit, eggs


litter: 4-7 born May-June


repro: general, den in burrows or cavities


status: Channel Islands subspecies on concern in CA (relatively rare), some value for fur, can rain henhouses, good mouser


Striped Skunk


description: black body with white stripe on head broadening into 2 stripes on back


range:across north America into north Mexico, including urban areas




habitat: open ares with wooded areas intermixed


diet: omniverous, fruits, small mammals, insects, eggs, amphibians, crayfish


litter: 4-7 born mid May


repro: general, females may den together in winter, den in burrow


status: common fur animal though pelt values have declined, good mouser, may rain henhouses, urban nuisance, kept as pets when de-scented, may harbor rabies


Northern River Otter


decription: dark brown above with silvery sheen below, streamlined for swimming, webbed feet, long tail is thick at base


range: North America (Alaska, Canada, most of US except SW)




habitat: streams and lake borders


diet: mainly aquatic organisms: amphibians, fish, crayfish, small mammals, invertebrates


litter: 2-6 born in later winter/early spring


repro: monogamous, male helps care for young

social animal *often seen in pairs or family groups


status: managed as furbearer in some states, STABLE, extirpated in midwest


Sea Otter


description: larger than river otter with *pale faces, largest mustelid


range: found in isolated populations along Pacific coast


migration: males make smallsouthern migrations in summer, mostly resident


habitat: near shore, marine environments supporting kelp beds


diet: bottom dwelling invertebrates (crabs, abalone, sea urchins, etc), use rocks to crack open shells of prey


litter: 1 pup born May-June


repro: carry pup on mother's chest until able to swim, live in family groups


status: nearly eliminated by fur harvests in 18/19th cent., Southern populations federally threatened

"keystone species" (declines in sea otters>increases in invertebrates that feed on kelp>restricts growth of kelp forest habitat)

populations have been recovering


usually see them on their backs, pelts are finest/worth the most $




description: long tail with black and white rings, large eyes with white around them


range: southwestern US up into Oregon




habitat: chapparal, rocky areas, woods, near water


diet: varied- small vertebrates, fruit, invertebrates


litter: 3-4 young, born May-June


repro: monogamous, usu. found in pairs, may be partially colonial

after 3-4 weeks male assists with rearing


status: unknown, but probably STABLE



love strawberry jam(for trapping)


Common Raccoon


decription: white and black rings on tail, *black mask*, stockier than ringtail and shorter tail


range: S. Canada to Northern S. America (across US)




habitat: near streams and lakes in wooded areas, urban areas


diet: omniverous-tend to consume more invertebrates than vertebrates (tend to feed along aquatic areas)


litter: 1-8 young born April-May


repro: breeding occurs later in southern parts of range

solitary and nocturnal


status: abundant

considered by some a nuisance in urban areas, can carry rabies, carry nematodehat gets into human brain (no cure)




description: very large, LONG TUSKS


range: circumpolar at far nothern latitudes (all around North Pole)


migration: migrate south on pack ice in winter (closer to N. Pole in summer)


habitat: ice floes and islands in arctic


diet: primarily mollusks pried form rocks or grubbed from bottom with tusks


litter: 1 calf born April-June, stays with mother for 2 years (breeding every 2-3 years)


repro: every 2-3 years since calf stays with mother for 2 years, believed to be polygynous, copulate in winter, males comptete for access to females (older males often covered with scars)

form large social groups


status: STABLE, harvested for meat and ivory by native people (Walrus harvest important for Eskimo ecomony)


large body size allows research biologists to use long range tracking devices


Northern Fur Seal


description: pale brown face, short nose, covered with thick fur (2nd best pelt to sea otters)


range: N. Pacific ocean- breed on Pribilof islands off Alaska (May-Nov), move as far south as San Diego


migration: up to 6,200 miles per year


habitat: at sea unless breeding on rocky beaches

gregarious, usu. in pods


diet: fish and squid


litter: 1 pup born in June


repro: polygynous, males with harems of up to 40 females


status: DECLINING- severly overharvested (Russians, Americans, Japanese, Canadians), harvesting has been managed by international agreement since 1911 (1st international treaty in world)

currently, Pribilof island herd hunted only for subsistence

decline may also be due to decline in ocean food supply/competition for fish, or entanglement



California Sea Lion


description: brown or black when wet, high forehead, continual honking bark


range: Pacific coast and British Columbia to Mexico

breed on coasts and islands off S. CA and Baja CA


migration: males migrate as far north as B. Columbia


habitat: coastal ocean


diet: fish, also octopus and squid


litter: 1 pup, born in June


repro: polygynous

gregarious (see in small groups)


status: INCREASING- federally threatened, protected throughout range

might be affected by pollution off coast, lost some breeding ground but most are protected


Northern Elephant Seal


description: large snouts (esp. males), largest seals in their range


range: Pacific coast- south to CA, breeds in central CA (Ano Nuevo, Point Reyes, etc)


migration: widespread distribution


habitat: open ocean, sandy beaches


diet: fish, also squid and octopus

dive extremely deep for food (one of deepes divers, up to 1mi), don't eat at all when on land


litter: 1 pup


repro: breed Dec-March, polygynous

live in large groups on shore


shed their skin


status: INCREASING about as rapidly as it can, hunted nearly to extinction for oil in 1890s



Harbor Seal


description: grey or brown with *spots* (lighter in color)


range: Arctic Ocean and along both coasts of US


migration: limited seasonal movement (males)


habitat: coastal waters, river mouths, rocky islands and ledges, sand bars


diet: varies by season- fish, shellfish, squid


litter: 1 pup born on land in early summer


repro: polygynous, return to same breeding ground every year

solitary except when "hauled out" of water onto rocks


status: INCREASING (4 fold since MMPA), protected in US, formerly hunted for skins/furs/meat, often entangled in fishing nets, loss of breeding habitat


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