Bob Bancroft: Wealth of fauna call N.S. forests home

This young sharp-shinned hawk and two other nestlings had their nest tree cut down. Rescued and reared, they eventually returned to the wild. Photo: Bob Bancroft

This young sharp-shinned hawk and two other nestlings had their nest tree cut down. Rescued and reared, they eventually returned to the wild.

But harvesting methods can pose risks to the province’s many birds and animals
In this article, wildlife biologist Bob Bancroft describes some of wildlife habitats that are being lost as we continue massive clearcutting in Nova Scotia. “…ovenbirds skilfully weave a nest on the ground within large forested areas. It’s important for them to locate it far away from woodland edges that attract prowling skunks, raccoons, foxes, crows, bobcats, house cats and blue jays. Barred owls, conversely, are large birds tending eggs and nestlings in old trees with trunks that offer fist-sized openings to enter a substantial hollow space. Goshawks are another sizable, fierce, forest-hunting species that prefers to nest in deep woods.” Bob asks, “Do sanctioned clearcuts and the new “partial” cuts maintain habitats for wildlife in ecologically healthy forests?” Bob comments that current partial cut and clearcut harvest methods cause too drastic a change for nature and forest wildlife.
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Scattered, low-quality, chest-height trees and the wildlife clump remaining on this site allow the harvest to cleverly fall outside the designation of a 'clearcut', as per the new, provincial clearcut definition.

Scattered, low-quality, chest-height trees and the wildlife clump remaining on this site allow the harvest to cleverly fall outside the designation of a ‘clearcut’, as per the new, provincial clearcut definition.

This 'partial cut' shows the archaic technique of 'high grading' (whereby the best trees are removed and only low quality trees remain on the site), a method long since reputed, but now heavily in use under the new, provincial clearcut definition. A regulatory change is required to stop this type of forestry.

This ‘partial cut’ shows the archaic technique of ‘high grading’ (whereby the best trees are removed and only low quality trees remain on the site), a method long since reputed, but now heavily in use under the new, provincial clearcut definition. A regulatory change is required to stop this type of forestry.Photo: Donna Crossland

Yellow-spotted salamanders require a moist, shaded forest floor.

Yellow-spotted salamanders require a moist, shaded forest floor.

Trout depend upon clean, cold streams flowing from healthy forests.

Trout depend upon clean, cold streams flowing from healthy forests. Photo: Bob Bancroft

Forests provide warmth, shelter, and food for deer in winter. Photo: Bob Bancroft

Forests provide warmth, shelter, and food for deer in winter. Photo: Bob Bancroft

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