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BSA Fish and Wildlife Merit Badge

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Fish and Wildlife Management Merit Badge
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Fish and Wildlife Merit BadgeFish and Wildlife Merit Badge book cover
Following list of requirements contains helpful links.  A copy of "Fish and Wildlife Management Merit Badge" will also be needed to teach the scouts.

  1. Describe the meaning and purposes of fish and wildlife conservation and management.

  2. List and discuss at least three major problems that continue to threaten your state's fish and wildlife resources. (Alabama threats include aquatic nuisance species (exotics), largemouth bass virus, chronic wasting disease, population isolation, and habitat threats including siltation and urbanization.)

  3. Describe some practical ways in which everyone can help with the fish and wildlife conservation effort (know and follow regulations, be careful with the use of fertilizer and pesticides, prevent and reduce erosion, don't spread aquatic nuisance species, consume certain species of fish from waters where they are over-abundant, be careful in the use and release of bait, selectively harvest deer). 

  4. List and describe five major fish and wildlife management practices used by managers in your state.  (articles: "Stocking Fish as a Management Tool?," "Streamside Management Zones," "Managing Wildlife Habitats with Herbicides," "The Role of Trapping in Wildlife Management," "Better Antler Development: the Basics,"and "Overcrowded Largemouth Bass in Alabama Farm Ponds: A Problem More Common than You Think")

  5. Do ONE of the following:

    1. Construct, erect, and check regularly at least two artificial nest boxes (wood duck, bluebird, squirrel, etc.) and keep written records for one nesting season.

    2. Construct, erect, and check regularly bird feeders and keep written records of the kinds of birds visiting the feeders in the wintertime.

    3. Design and implement a back-yard wildlife habitat improvement project and report the results.

    4. Design and construct a wildlife blind near a game trail, water hole, salt lick, bird feeder, or birdbath and take good photographs or make sketches from the blind of any combination of 10 wild birds, mammals, reptiles, or amphibians. (Also see the Outdoor Alabama photo contest that has two student divisions.)

  6. Do ONE of the following:

    1. Observe and record 25 species of wildlife. Your list may include mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Write down when and where each animal was seen. (Photos)

    2. List the wildlife species in your state that are classified as endangered, threatened, exotic, game species (birds, fish and mammals), fur bearers, or migratory game birds.

    3. Start a scrapbook of North American wildlife. Insert markers to divide the book into separate parts for mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. Collect articles on such subjects as life histories, habitat, behavior, and feeding habits on all five categories and place them in your notebook accordingly. Articles and pictures may be cut from old discarded newspapers; science, nature, and outdoor magazines; or from other sources including the Internet (with your parent's permission). Enter at least five articles on mammals, five on birds, five on reptiles (Alabama red-bellied turtle, a PDF file), five on amphibians, and five on fish (asian carp, crappie, grass carp, redeye bass, sauger, shad, spotted bass, spring pygmy sunfish, striped bass, and walleye).  Put each animal on a separate sheet in alphabetical order.  Include pictures whenever possible.

  7. Do ONE of the following:

    1. Determine the age of five species of fish from scale samples or identify various age classes of one species in a lake and report the results. (Article on ages and sizes of Alabama bass.  Contact Doug Darr for fish scales to age.)

    2. Conduct a creel census on a small lake to estimate catch per unit effort.

    3. Examine the stomach contents of three species of fish and record the findings. It is not necessary to catch any fish for this option. You must visit a cleaning station set up for fishermen or find another, similar alternative.

    4. Make a freshwater aquarium. Include at least four species of native plants and four species of animal life, such as whirligig beetles, freshwater shrimp, tadpoles, water snails, and golden shiners. After 60 days of observation, discuss with your counselor the life cycles, food chains, and management needs you have recognized. After completing requirement 7d to your counselor's satisfaction, with your counselor's assistance, check local laws to determine what you should do with the specimens you have collected.

  8. Using resources found at the library and in periodicals, books, and the Internet (with your parent's permission), learn about three different kinds of work done by fish and wildlife managers (such as a Fisheries Biologist - Inland Option, Conservation Enforcement Officer (Game Warden), Conservation Enforcement Officer - Wildlife Biologist Option, and Biologist Aide). Find out the education and training requirements for each position.


Official Web site of Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
©2008 Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources   |   64 N. Union Street, Suite 468 - Montgomery, Alabama 36130