Step 1: Setting Goals
Selecting Wildlife that Interests You
Certain wildlife species require large areas to live, find shelter, establish territories, find food, and reproduce. Birds, for example, are highly mobile. They occupy large areas, especially when they migrate and when it is not nesting season. During nesting season, birds become highly territorial, and may feed in and defend an area no bigger than your backyard. Because of their size, mobility, and habitat requirements, reptiles and amphibians usually occupy relatively small areas, perhaps even a small woodlot, sinkhole, or backyard pond. Mammals, especially rodents and other small mammals, also maintain smaller territories because of their size and mobility. The wildlife group you monitor will determine the size of your monitoring site. How the data are interpreted and what they will be used for depends on how accurately you report data for a particular wildlife group.