Protecting small mammals after logging near Golden

A team of biologists are keeping an eye on small mammals in cut blocks around Golden and four other sites in the province.

What they’re looking for is the impact of logging on small mammal habitats. They have seen the how disruption affects species like the short and long tailed red-backed voles, deer mice, fishers, martens, weasels, and more.

For instance, the voles have been known to leave an area after it has been logged for more than a decade before returning.

Tom Sullivan is a small mammal biologist with UBC who has been working with silviculture forester Scott King at Louisiana-Pacific Corp. on a site just east of Golden. He and his team have preserved slash piles (woody debris left over and stacked after logging), and have set live traps to see if these piles are used as a habitat by small creatures.

The answer is yes. Rather than burning up the piles and discarding them, the piles are acting as a “marten hotel,” or a mouse mansion.

“These animals colonize the piles,” Sullivan explained. “We should be thinking about all of the forest resources.”

These small mammals are critical to the environment. They feed off insects, and are healthy prey for birds and other animals.

“If we could keep them on these sites, that’s good for voles and their networks,” Sullivan said.

Creating the habitats and corridors between cut blocks has helped to keep the animals in the ecosystem.

“It has been a wonderful project. It is well worth keeping the habitats on site,” Sullivan said, adding that foresters have even witnessed black bears using the piles for dens in the winter. “There’s always these debris piles that are left.”

The small mammal study began 12 years ago, as biologists monitored the activity of the small fur-bearing creatures before and after logging operations. Sullivan and his team are working on five different habitat locations across the province, using small and large slash piles, and tagging the mammals they catch before releasing them to study their habits.

 

Just Posted

Warning issued after several overdoses in Castlegar

Interior Health says the overdoses appear to be the result of cocaine contaminated with fentanyl.

Kootenay-Columbia candidates attend Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum

About 120 people attended the Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce 2019 election forum on Oct. 16 at the Prince Charles Theatre.

Green and NDP candidates talk strategic voting at Nelson public meeting

Wayne Stetski and Abra Brynne traded ideas but made no concessions for this election

Future arrives at the library

The future has arrived at the Golden public library! Thanks to a… Continue reading

Kootenay-Columbia candidate cautious after getting threats

Trev Miller of the Animal Protection Party carries on campaigning under shadow of threats, abusive emails

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Jack’s Devils beat Quinn’s Canucks 1-0 in NHL brother battle

New Jersey youngster scores first career goal against Vancouver

Two charged after owner’s wild ride through Kamloops in his stolen truck

Crystal Rae Dorrington, 37, and Derrick Ronald Pearson, 32, facing multiple charges

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over what the school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Most Read