Boy Scout Merit Badge Requirements


  1. Name three ways in which plants are important to animals.
  2. Name three ways in which animals are important to plants.
  3. Explain the term "food chain." Give an example of a four-step land food chain and a four-step water food chain.
  4. Do all the requirements in FIVE of the following fields:


    1. In the field, identify eight species of birds.
    2. Make and set out a birdhouse; OR a feeding station; OR a birdbath. List what birds used it during one month.


    1. In the field, identify three species of wild mammals.
    2. Make plaster casts of the tracks of a wild mammal.

    Reptiles or Amphibians

    1. Show that you can recognize the poisonous snakes in your area. Identify in the field three species of reptiles or amphibians.
    2. Recognize one species of toad or frog by voice; OR identify one reptile or amphibian by eggs, den, burrow or other signs.

    Insects or Spiders

    1. Collect, mount, and label 10 species of insects or spiders.
    2. Hatch an insect from the pupa or cocoon; OR hatch adults from nymphs; OR keep larvae until they form pupae or cocoons; OR keep a colony of ants or bees through one season.


    1. Catch and identify two species of fish.
    2. Collect four kinds of animal food eaten by fish in the wild.

    Mollusks and Crustaceans

    1. Identify five species of mollusks and crustaceans.
    2. Collect, mount, and label six shells.


    1. In the field, identify 15 species of wild plants.
    2. Collect and label seeds of six plants; OR the leaves of 12 plants.

    Soils and Rocks

    1. Collect and identify soils found in different layers of a soil profile.
    2. Collect and identify five different types of rocks from your area.
  5. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Raise tadpoles from eggs; OR raise adults from tadpoles; OR keep an adult reptile or amphibian so it stays healthy for one month.
    2. Develop a simple aquarium with fish and plant life. Keep it so they stay healthy for one month.
    3. Develop an aquarium. Keep in it two species of mollusks or crustaceans so they stay healthy for one month.
    4. Build a terrarium with three species of plants. Keep it so the plants stay healthy for one month.
    5. Grow seeds for one month in two kinds of soil. Describe difference in rate of growth.

NOTE: Under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, some plants and animals are or may be protected by federal law. The same ones or others may be protected by state law. Be sure that you do not collect protected species.

Your state may require that you purchase and carry a license to collect certain species. Check with the wildlife and fish and game officials in your state regarding species regulations before you begin to collect.

BSA Advancement ID#: 78
Source: Boy Scout Requirements, #33215E, revised 2002