Bulkley Valley Research Centre - Science in the Public Interest

Year 2 - Implications of Landscape Composition and Pattern in Managed Sub-boreal Forests

Project Reference Number: 2005-06

Project Status: Complete

Led by: Doug Steventon, Wildlife Habitat Ecologist, Ministry of Forests and Range, Smithers

Ardea Biological Consulting, Smithers

Funder: Forest Investment Account - Forest Science Program

This Forest Science Program project is field-testing the habitat dilution effect for selected species ¾ how well do our models (representing current understanding) predict reality? This iterative verification step with independent data is not often done, but is considered key to obtaining reliable information. Two species projected to have differing response to harvesting pattern have been chosen - the marten (Martes americana) and the northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus). They are both considered “mature forest” associated species facing ongoing habitat reduction, yet occur in sufficient density to make field-testing of model predictions feasible. They represent differences in scale of home range size and dispersal mobility. Live trapping is being used to test habitat occupancy predictions. The study area is the Morice and Lakes Timber Supply Areas (Nadina Forest District, Northern Interior Forest Region) with general application to the sub-boreal interior.

The project objectives are:

  • Use temporal-spatial modelling of alternative timber harvesting rates and pattern (among and within landscape units) to predict conservation outcomes. Initial focus will be on selected mammal species predicted to be sensitive ¾ the marten and northern flying squirrel.
  • Field-test the projections of the species response models, and (as needed) propose improvements. This is the component funded by The FIA, Forest Science Program funding.
  • Assess feasibility and cost of a long-term management effectiveness-monitoring program.

Related Reports

Publication Date Report Title Authors
June 2006 Northern Flying Squirrels and Red Squirrels: Is There Life after Beetles and Logging? - Extension Note #2 Doug Steventon