Forest Investment Account

Abstract of FIA Project 200105

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Wildlife dispersal across cutblocks

Author(s): Larsen, Karl; Tolko Industries
Imprint: [Prince George],B.C. : Tolko Industries Limited, 2003
Subject: Forest Investment Account (FIA), Squirrels, Habitat, British Columbia, Habitat (Ecology)
Series: Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative


In 2002, F.I.A. funds were used to augment a research program being primarily funded by the Natural Science & Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada. This program is examining the dispersal of animals across habitat boundaries and transitions. The project supported by F.IA. funds examined the degree to which juvenile animals (red squirrels) investigated second-growth forest stands of varying ages. Working over the Kamloops Forest District, surveys were conducted in 15 different forest stands, representing 5 different age-categories of lodgepole pine forest (planted cutblocks), ranging from 4 to 28 years of age. Devices that recorded animal tracks were the primary tool used, with some radio-telemetry and live-trapping also involved. In general, little 'activity' was present in all of the stands prior to dispersal of the juvenile animals. During dispersal (July, August), activity jumped considerably in stands 14-18 year of age, and even more so in the older stands. Trends after dispersal were not as strong, although activity still remained high in the older stands. A final survey will be initiated this spring (using NSERC funds) to determine which stands, if any, were able to support animals overwinter. This work has provided insight into the process by which second-growth stands are re-colonized by animals normally associated with mature forests. It also has provided a basis for future work that will use experimental manipulations to determine what cues the dispersing animals are using in selecting new habitat.
Karl W. Larsen

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Updated August 02, 2006 

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