Wildlife Management Terms - M

Mandibles: either the upper or lower part of the beak in birds. Often referred to as a jaw in animals

Mange: condition produced by a number of parasitic mites that burrow into skin and feed on the subcutaneous fluids of mammals, commonly known as scabies

Mangrove: term for a variety of tree species and a habitat associated with brackish water and provide a primary line of defense against hurricanes. There are three main types of mangroves: red, black, and white

Marine: living in brackish or salt water

Marsh: environment where terrestrial and aquatic habitats overlap; a wetland containing fresh water and aquatic plants

Marsh accretion: vertical growth of marsh caused by deposition of organic and inorganic sediments onto marsh during inundation or when marsh plants grow and decompose 

Marsupial: group of mammal species whose females have pouches that contain mammary glands and that shelter the young until fully developed and includes: kangaroos, opossums, bandicoots and wombats

Mast: woody plant (trees, shrubs, or vines) fruits or nuts used as a food source by wildlife for food. There are two kinds: hard mast and soft mast

Maximum sustained yield: maximum number of animals or plants that can be harvested without harming the population’s ability to rebound the next season

Mean sea level: average height of the sea surface, based upon hourly observation of the tide height on the open coast or in adjacent waters that have free access to the sea. In the United States, it is defined as the average height of the sea surface for all stages of the tide over a nineteen year period 

Melanistic: abnormally dark pigmentation of the skin or other tissues. Black pigmented

Mesic: characterized by the presence of moderate water

Metatarsal gland: small scent gland on a deer that is located on the outside of each hind leg just above the dew claw

Microscopic: too small to be seen without the aid of a magnifying lens or microscope

Migration: movement of animals to and from feeding or reproductive areas, often on an annual or seasonal basis

Migratory: relating to the movement of animals from one geographic area to another during different times of the year 

Migratory Game Bird: all wild ducks, geese,  pigeons, doves, rails, and brant that yearly fly north and south, usually along a flyway, between their breeding grounds and their winter nesting grounds

Milk teeth: temporary teeth in young animals, which are shed by 2 years of age

Molars: large jaw teeth that grind food

Mollusk: classification of animals with exoskeletons and shells. Univalve and bivalve snails and clams are examples

Molt: process of shedding or replacing feathers

Monogamous: term used when one male breeds with one female

Mortality (death rate): number of animals that die each year

Modern gun (breech-loading firearm): rifle, handgun, or shotgun loaded from the rear of the barrel

Mosquito: small insects with narrow bodies, veiny wings, and long, thin legs. Their mouth is a proboscis (mouthparts adapted for piercing and sucking)but only the female bites and a drop of blood gives her enough protein to make 200 to 400 eggs. Males feed on flower nectar 

Mosquitofish (Gambusia): small fish known to eat aquatic invertebrates, including mosquito larvae, have an upturned mouth, are a light olive color, and grow to 2 1/2" long

Movement corridor: strip or clump of land that provides habitat and a safe passageway for wildlife to move among nearby habitats 

Mule Deer: brownish-gray deer (Odocoileus hemionus) of western North America, having long mule like ears, large branching antlers in the male, and a black-tipped tail

Muzzleloading gun: rifle, shotgun, or handgun loaded from the discharging end of the barrel or discharging end of the cylinder



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