Forest birds and forest management in Ontario: Status, management, and policy

  • Thompson I
  • Baker J
  • Hannon S
 et al. 
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This paper presents a summary of presentations and discussions at a 3-day workshop on research and management of forest birds in Ontario forests. While many forest birds in Ontario do not appear to be negatively affected over the long term by forest management, some species were noted as declining using Breeding Bird Atlas data and more research is required to understand the causes, some of which may well be related to habitat change on the wintering grounds. For example, the aerial foragers as a group have declined significantly during the past 20 years. Recent research suggests landscape convergence between managed and fire-origin stands for bird species over time, but negative effects were suggested for boreal chickadee (Poecile hudsonsicus), brown creeper (Certhia familiaris), and some cavity-users, although there is no evidence of declines in these species from the current atlas data. This inconsistency needs to be evaluated. In Carolinian forests, even small-scale tree harvesting in this already highly fragmented landscape can have deleterious effects on breeding success for some species, such as wood thrush (Hylocichla mustelina) and rose-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus). New modelling techniques and meta-analyses seem to hold considerable promise as tools to help managers understand key habitats, species that require special attention, and as predictive models of forest management effects. A large number of recommendations to improve the management of forest birds are provided and as is a suggested research agenda to improve our understanding of key factors affecting birds in managed forests.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Boreal forest
  • Carolinian forest
  • Great Lakes-St.
  • Lawrence forest
  • Ontario
  • cavity
  • communities
  • conservation
  • forest birds
  • forest management
  • forest policy
  • indicators
  • landscape
  • modelling
  • nester
  • spruce budworm
  • targets
  • thresholds

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  • I D Thompson

  • J A Baker

  • S J Hannon

  • R S Rempel

  • K J Szuba

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