Mississippi State University

Conclave 2004

Wildlife Identification Rules

Return to Rules and Regulations page

  1. The wildlife event will consist of three parts: Identification of bird and mammal species (50%), aging and sexing of selected birds and animal species (25%), and identification of food plants (25%). Scientific names for wildlife food plants must be correctly spelled, capatilized and underlined.
  2. Each competing member club may enter two (2) contestants.
  3. Each team will have two (2) minutes to jointly identify each specimen or give each other requested information such as sex or age.
  4. All specimens used in the contest will come from the enclosed lists. Mammal specimens may consist of skulls, study skins, or entire specimens. Plant specimens may consist of fresh material, herbarium sheets, Riker mounts, or 35 mm color slides.
  5. Common names only will be required for mammal and bird specimens, while common and scientific names will be required for plant specimens. Plant specimens may consist of fresh material, herbarium sheets, Riker mounts, or 35 mm color slides.
  6. Contestants may be required to sex white-tailed deer by pelvic girdle and assign age at exact 6-month age classes (1, 1.5, 2, 2.5 years) up to and including age 2.5 and at whole year intervals (3.5, 4.5, etc. years) thereafter by jaw examination. Contestants may be required to sex bird species in the list designated by descriptive wording, and also from wing examination. In the case of the mourning dove, only age will be required.
  7. Contestants may also be required to give the wildlife species primarily utilizing the food plants as designated in the attached list.
  8. In case of a tie, the contest will continue between tying teams until one is eliminatd. The winner must correctly answer the question that results in the elimination of the other team.
  9. All mammals, with the exception of the domesticated cat, are described in The Mammals of North America, 1981, 2nd edition, by E. Raymond Hall. The A.O.U Checklist of North American Birds, 6th edition, American Ornithologists Union of the 1983 Supplement to the A.U.K. Techniques are the official sources for the names of birds. Techniques for aging and sexing may be found in: Wildlife Management Techniques, 1980, 4th edition, edited by S. D. Schemnitz. The official source for the plant names will be: Manual of the Vascular Flora of the Carolinas, 1983, 9th edition, by A. E. Radford, H. E. Ahles, and C. R. Bell.
  10. Each contestant will be allowed to use a 10X hand lens in the wildlife exam and nothing else.
  11. The stations must be at least five (5') feet apart.
  12. If a species name shows up on the dendrology, wildlife, or wood identification lists, they will all have the same common name.

Both the Wildlife Species List and the Wildlife Foods List are in PDF format and require Adobe Acrobat Reader to view and print.

Questions about Conclave 2004? Email us.