Skeena study on predator habitat use in logging areas gets funding
September 28, 2023 By FESBC
The Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation (HCTF) is allocating over $800,000 to projects in the Skeena region.
Among this year’s projects in the Skeena is a multi-year project to study the impacts of partial logging on the habitats of important small wildlife predator species. Currently in its second of five years and led by the University of British Columbia, the project will examine predator habitat use and selection in forests harvested using partial logging practices compared to traditional logging and unlogged forests.
“Partial logging has benefits for fire management and timber supply and may be more favourable for wildlife, but these benefits have not been thoroughly documented,” says project lead Karen Hodges. “Determining the effects and possible benefits of switching logging practices to partial harvest models may allow for the conservation and protection of forest predators.” The project is focused on marten and the red-listed fisher, as both are focal management species and sensitive to forest loss.
The project is being supported by the HCTF and the Forest Enhancement Society of BC (FESBC) with $30,452 in co-funding this year.
Other HCTF-funded projects in the Skeena region include:
- $98,028 to restore 86 km of roads to reduce human and wildlife predator access within the Whitesail Priority Restoration Area for the Tweedsmuir-Entiako caribou herd.
- $56,475 to assess watersheds in Skeena for connectivity and restore fish passage at road crossings that are barriers to fish migration.
- $83,650 to monitor habitat use, migration, and health of Tawéi (Tlingit word for thinhorn sheep) near Atlin to build on traditional and scientific knowledge for better management of Tawéi.
- $61,000 to address knowledge gaps about the distribution, movements, and exploitation of Bull Trout and Dolly Varden in the lower Nass and middle Skeena Rivers.
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