Updated: Jul 12
20 June, 2023
A European forest resident that nests in tree cavities, the Crested Tit (Lophophanes cristatus), has declined by 53% since 1980. Photo by Nils-Fredrik Nilsson.
Most of the world’s natural forests are subject to logging operations, many of which are highly detrimental to forest birds and other wildlife. Bird–forestry relationships have been the subject of research and conservation initiatives for decades, but there are few reviews of resulting recommendations for use by forest managers. In response, IBCP worked with Māris Strazds at the University of Latvia to investigate approaches in sustainable forest management, which strives to mitigate forest degradation and wildlife loss in forests subject to logging operations and is fostered through conservation legislation and incentives in many areas.
We reviewed relevant research to synthesize 10 principles that support bird conservation in forests subject to logging operations: (1) protect and enhance vertical structure through uneven-aged silviculture; (2) leave abundant dead wood in different decay stages; (3) maintain residual large green trees; (4) create and maintain sufficient amounts of uncut reserves and corridors; (5) maximize forest interior and minimize fragmentation by retaining large contiguous forest tracts; (6) maintain buffers along streams, rivers, wetlands, and known nesting areas; (7) maintain horizontal stand structure and vegetation diversity through canopy gaps; (8) extend the temporal scale of logging cycles; (9) minimize post-logging disturbance to forests, particularly during the bird breeding season; and (10) manage for focal species and guilds. We suggest these principals as guidelines for foresters to customize in management plans to improve the bird conservation value of production forests in our new scientific publication, which provides details and links to relevant scientific research.
An American migratory species that nests in temperate and boreal forests, Wilson’s Warbler (Cardellina pusilla)has declined by 57% since 1970. Photo by Dan Marks.