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Soil & Water Conservation District

WILDLIFE EDUCATION

Overview:

Prior to settlement Ohio was home to a wide variety of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and insects. Extirpation of large carnivores out of fear and over hunting of many species seen as an “unlimited resource” put many species on the brink.
Regulations on hunting, trapping, and fishing as well as the creation of the Ohio Division of Wildlife have lead to many population recoveries. We now have healthy populations of many game species. Meanwhile, a number of various species are currently facing continuous declines from pressures such as habitat loss, disease, and invasive species.
Regulations on hunting, trapping, and fishing as well as the creation of the Ohio Division of Wildlife have lead to many population recoveries. We now have healthy populations of many game species. Meanwhile, a number of various species are currently facing continuous declines from pressures such as habitat loss, disease, and invasive species.
Conservation efforts have lead to more protections for some of these imperiled species. While there has been some cultural shift in regards to how humans treat other animals, continued education is vital to the survival of our state’s biodiversity. Through conservation education efforts, more people can learn how to coexist with wildlife and even provide habitat in their own backyards.
A more widespread acceptance and understanding of other species, not as a resource for humans to do with as they please, but as animals like ourselves that deserve respect, is imperative for their future as well as our own.

Facts & Information:

Ohio is home to:
54 species of mammals
12 turtle species
5 lizard species
26 snake species (3 venomous)
11 frog species
3 toad species
21 salamander species
3 species of giant salamanders & newts
170 + species of fishes
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Long persecuted by humans mistaking them for venomous cottonmouths, which are not found in Ohio, northern water snakes are often seen near water and pose no threat to people.
Plus 250+ species birds including:
15 species of raptors
6 species of owls
104 species of songbirds/perching birds
7 species of woodpeckers
8 species of geese & swans
27 species of ducks
4 species of grebes & loons
41 species of shorebirds
15 species of gulls & terns
11 species of cranes & herons
1 species of cormorant
1 species of pelican
You can download and print any of the ODNR Field Guides on their website right here!

Brian Hackett, wildlife specialist, gave a virtual presentation on Ohio snake I.D. for this year’s Virtual Farm Science Review. If you’re interested in learning how to identify snakes here in Ohio, be sure to check it out!
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