Habitat supply modeling for multiple, terrestrial wildlife species was integrated with Timber Supply Review (TSR) scenarios and applied to the Quesnel Timber Supply Area (TSA) in British Columbia. The ultimate goal was to provide information on selected wildlife for use in a multiple-account, trade-off analysis designed to support sustainable management of timber and other resource values. Objectives over this two-year project were to: (1) prepare a list of terrestrial vertebrate species that represent a cross-section of habitat requirements and indicators, (2) research an account of habitat needs for each species, (3) develop habitat supply models, (4) integrate the habitat supply models with TSR scenarios, stand structure, dead wood, Predictive Ecosystem Mapping and relative soil moisture, (5) apply the models to the Crown portion of the TSA, (6) summarize stand and habitat conditions (suitability, capability), and (7) draw interpretations regarding habitat elements and resiliency of wildlife habitat to extensive ecological change (mountain pine beetle, timber harvest) including the identification of potential constraints on habitat connectivity, access, seral stage distributions and juxtaposition.
Fourteen wildlife species were chosen for modeling. We retrieved species accounts and made extensive changes to habitat supply models available from previous work. These previously modeled species included moose, wolverine, marten, mule deer, northern caribou, mountain caribou, mountain goat, and grizzly bear. We also developed seven new models to account for identified bird species (northern flicker, great blue heron, Barrows goldeneye, rusty blackbird, northern goshawk, three-toed woodpecker and black-backed woodpecker). The model changes and the effort to integrate data from different models were necessary in order to address additional data sources anticipated as improvements to accuracy and spatial precision of the species models. In addition, since the area of application was extensively modified by the mountain pine beetle, we adjusted inputs to the wildlife models to better account for the realized and anticipated ecological changes resulting from the beetle attack.
Over the course of this project, we encountered many challenges, resolved those challenges, made a number of improvements to previously existing model components, and identified areas where improvement and future work could be focused. In general the model results stand as a 'proof-of-concept' that multi-species habitat supply modeling can be efficiently linked to projections of timber supply, stand structure and dead wood and the results can be used to make interpretations about habitat supply as per the project objectives.
McCann, Robert K., McNay, R. Scott; Brumovsky, Viktor J.; Fenger, Mike; Voller, Joan; Sulyma, Randy; Snively, Micheline. 2011. Wildlife Habitat Supply Modelling, Quesnel TSA. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program. Forest Investment Account Report
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), British, Columbia
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