Biological Diversity
The variety of life forms in a given area. Diversity can be categorized in terms of the number of species, the variety in the area's plant and animal communities, the genetic variability of the animals, or a combination of these elements.
Palatable twigs, shoots, leaves and buds of woody plants. Term often used to describe a category of deer foods.
The category of animals that prey or feed upon animals and insects. (carni-, flesh; vore-, eater)
Carrying Capacity
The maximum number of animals that a specific habitat or area can support without causing deterioration or degradation of that habitat.
A collective term used to describe an assemblage of organisms living together.
A description of the protection and seclusion afforded by a combination of vegetation and topography. Some types of cover are:
Brood Cover
Low vegetation such as grasses or forbs that afford protection for ground nesters to raise their young.
Escape Cover
Thickets, vine mats, hollow trees, rock crevices, blow- downs or burrows that are a means of concealment from predators or hunters.
Nesting Cover
Vegetation that protects nesting sites: forbs, grasses, logging slash, low shrubs, windrows or thickets for quail, grouse, many species of songbirds, and rabbits.
Roosting Cover
Overnight cover such as coniferous stands for wild turkey, honeysuckle vines for quail, dense pine saplings and small poles for doves, beaver ponds for wood ducks, or old snags suitable for woodpeckers and many songbirds.
Winter Cover
Cover required for over-wintering, such as den trees for squirrels, raccoons and bear, or dense evergreen thickets for deer.
The cutting back of canopy and midstory vegetation that borders logging roads. By exposing road surfaces and edges to sunlight, "daylighting" promotes rapid regrowth of herbaceous and shrub species and increases edge complexity.
Den Tree (Cavity tree)
A tree that contains a weather-tight cavity used for nesting or protection.
The distribution and abundance of different plant and animal communities and species within a given area.
The transition zone between communities, for example, the boundary between field and forest. Ecotones often are rich in species as they harbor species from adjoining communities and their predators.
Ecosystem Management
The concept of resource management that considers land, water, air, plants, and animals to be an entire system that should be managed as a whole. All of these elements are interrelated (including man).
Edge Effect
Refers to the diversity and abundance of the wildlife species that are attracted to areas where two or more vegetative types or age classes meet (see Ecotone).
Endangered and Threatened Species
A species is endangered when the total number of remaining members may not be sufficient to produce enough offspring to ensure survival of the species. A threatened species exhibits declining or dangerously low populations but still has enough members to maintain or increase numbers.
All browse and herbaceous plant foods that are available to animals.
Forest Type
Groups of tree species commonly growing in the same stand because their environmental requirements are similar. North Carolina examples include pine and mixed hardwood, cypress, tupelo, and black gum; and oak and hickory.
Any herbaceous plant other than grasses or grass-like plants.
An area that provides an animal or plant with adequate food, water, shelter, and living space.
The category of animals that feed on plants. (herbi-, plant; -vore, eater)
Home Range
The area used by an animal to fulfill its food, cover, water, and reproductive requirements.
Small areas within a stand which have an inherently different forest and management type than the stand in which they occur. They can be treated differently than the remainder of the stand.
Plants that capture organic nitrogen from the air. These plants, which typically form seeds in pods include soybeans, peas, alfalfa, lespedeza, and locust.
Fruits or nuts used as a food source by wildlife. Hard mast is the fruit or nuts of trees such as oaks, beech, walnut, chinquapin, and hickories. Soft mast includes the fruits and berries of dogwood, viburnums, elderberry, huckleberry, spice bush, grape, raspberry, and blackberry.
Neotropical Migrants
The category of migratory birds that spend the winter in Central and South America and return to North America to breed.
Nest Box/Structure
An artificial box, platform, or other structure that enhances the reproductive habitat for desirable species.
Plant or Habitat Diversity
A variety of food or cover for wildlife. Variation may occur at one point in time or over a period of time such as during the course of a season. Seasonal diversity of food and cover is often critical to the survival of a species.
Prescribed Burning
The controlled application of fire to wildland fuels to attain planned resource management objectives (brush control, wildfire hazard reduction, wildlife habitat improvements, etc.).
Prescribed Burning Cycle
The interval of time between prescribed burns. This frequency, along with intensity, largely determines the response of forbs, legumes and shrubs in the understory.
The category of animals that feed on both plants and animals. (omni-, all; -vore, eater)
Stewardship Management
The practice of managing all the natural resources as a whole. Utilizing and enjoying the natural resources with responsibility and care for the future.
Streamside Management Zone (SMZ)
Buffer strips, filter strips, or riparian zones adjacent to water bodies. Width varies, but must be sufficient to effectively prevent sedimentation and retain stream water temperature and/or wildlife cover.
The change in species composition and community structure over time. (Example: the development of a stand from field to mature forest).
Successional Disking or Mowing
Mechanical methods of maintaining or promoting the regrowth of non-woody plants. Periodic mowing prevents brush from maturing to trees.
Total Resource Management
See Stewardship Management.
Transition Zone
The gradual progression of one habitat type into another. It occurs between upland and lowland. This band usually contains high-quality wildlife food including both soft and hard mast, as well as forage.
a). The layer formed by the crowns of smaller trees in a forest.
b). The trees beneath the forest canopy.
A broad term that includes nondomesticated animals but not exclusively mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians.
Wildlife Openings
Openings maintained to meet food or cover needs for wildlife. They may contain native vegetation or planted crops and can be maintained by burning, disking, mowing, planting, or fertilizing.