|In support of the Sustainable Forest Management Plan (SFMP) for Pope & Talbot Arrow Lakes Timber Division, this project provides a set of wildlife indicator species for monitoring habitat sustainability. Within the SFMP framework, this project addresses two of the three Indicators of Ecological Criterion 1 (Biological richness and its associated values are sustained): • The amount, distribution and heterogeneity of habitat elements and landscape structure important to sustain biological richness are maintained; and • Productive populations of selected species or species guilds are well distributed throughout the range of their habitat. Based on the Columbia Basin Database for Wildlife-Habitat Relationships, a database filtering process that focuses on essential habitat attributes, and the current set of listed species most appropriate to function as indicators, I selected 13 terrestrial vertebrate indicator species. Included in this set of indicator species are the following eight non-listed species: • Black Bear, • Hooded Merganser, • Northern Flying Squirrel, • Northern Pygmy Owl, • Pileated Woodpecker, • Pygmy Nuthatch, • Winter Wren, and • Wood Duck. These species are closely associated with two types of forest structural conditions (giant/large tree and multi-story) and require, among others, the habitat elements down wood, shrub cover, large snags, large live trees, and forested wetlands. The additional indicator species that are currently designated as being at risk included the following five listed species: • Grizzly Bear (blue listed), • Great Blue Heron (blue listed), • Lewis’s Woodpecker (blue listed), • Coeur d’Alene Salamander (blue listed), and • Caribou (red listed). In selecting the final set of species, I considered the listed species’ associations with forested habitat as well as their practicality to function as monitoring species. I recommend that the selected indicator species be included in an effectiveness-monitoring plan for the implementation of the SFMP. Forest management that ensures the sustainability of the habitat attributes essential for the selected indicator species may be the best approach to ensure population viability.|
prepared by Christoph Steeger.