Testing for thresholds and defining targets – using bird habitat relationships to improve forest management on traditional lands of the West Moberly First Nations

Tree species composition – in particular the ratio of coniferous to deciduous trees – is likely a major evolutionary force shaping biodiversity in the boreal ‘mixedwood’ forest. There are concerns that logging practices are resulting in declines in the amount of old mixedwood stands in Canada’s western boreal forest, which may be having a negative impact on species adapted to mixedwood stands. The West Moberly First Nations are concerned with ensuring that large‐scale logging practices in the mixedwood boreal forests of their traditional lands do not degrade the forest’s ecological integrity. In particular, they are concerned with ensuring access to healthy populations of preferred species such as grouse under Treaty 8. This internship proposes to quantify the relationships of forest birds – songbirds, woodpeckers, and grouse ‐ to tree species composition to identify appropriate mixes of coniferous and deciduous trees necessary to maintain healthy bird populations in logged landscapes. The internship also proposes to collect local knowledge of birds held by members of the West Moberly First nations as a beginning step in the process of developing an overall strategy for forest biodiversity conservation on West Moberly traditional lands.

Intern: 
Kelly Squires
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Kenneth Lertzman
Province: 
British Columbia
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