Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Forest Regrowth in Clearcuts Vital to Birds

Black-throated green warblers like this one
 were abundant in harvested openings
 following the breeding season.
Recently came across this interesting article on ScienceDaily.Com.  It looks at the issues surrounding declining forest-interior bird species.  In the past we largely looked at preserving large intact tracts of mature forest where birds breed.  In this study, performed by Scott Stoleson of the US Forest Service's Northern Research Station, interior breeding birds were followed through the use of mist netting and banding following the breeding season and just prior to migration to assess their overall condition.  What he found is quite telling and suggest that forest regrowth in clearcuts may be vital to birds as they prepare for fall migration.

Science Daily: Science News, August 21, 2013
Efforts to conserve declining populations of forest-interior birds have largely focused on preserving the mature forests where birds breed, but a U.S. Forest Service study suggests that in the weeks leading up to migration, younger forest habitat may be just as important.

In an article published recently in the American Ornithologist Union's publication The Auk, research wildlife biologist Scott Stoleson of the U.S. Forest Service's Northern Research Station suggests that forest regrowth in clearcuts may be vital to birds as they prepare for fall migration.

The study suggests that declines in forest-interior species may be due in part to the increasing maturity and homogenization of forests. Openings created by timber harvesting may increase habitat for some forest interior birds, according to Stoleson. "Humans have really changed the nature of mature forests in the Northeast," Stoleson said. "Natural processes that once created open spaces even within mature forests, such as fire, are largely controlled, diminishing the availability of quality habitat."

To read the full story click here.

This story is a great follow-up to a post a made back on March 25, 2013.
Young Forests Equal Healthy Habitat for Wildlife

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