Buffers of 200 m wide would maintain songbird abundance as well as amphibians and small mammals in harvested forest in Canada

  • Published source details Hannon S.J., Paszkowski C.A., Boutin S., DeGroot J., Macdonald S.E., Wheatley M. & Eaton B.R. (2002) Abundance and species composition of amphibians, small mammals, and songbirds in riparian forest buffer strips of varying widths in the boreal mixedwood of Alberta. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 32, 1784-1800


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Retain riparian buffer strips during timber harvest

Action Link
Amphibian Conservation
  1. Retain riparian buffer strips during timber harvest

    A replicated, controlled, before-and-after study in 1996–1998 of a mixed wood forest in Alberta, Canada (Hannon et al. 2002) found that forest buffers of 20–200 m around lakes maintained amphibian abundance for three years after harvest. Abundance was not significantly different before and after harvest, within or between buffer widths, or compared to unharvested areas and protected forests. Species composition did not change after harvest. Four lakes were selected in three regions and were assigned to buffer strip treatments of 20, 100 or 200 m wide, or were controls within protected forest. Clearcuts were 2–49 ha, with two to four cuts around each lake in 1996, the remainder was left unharvested. Amphibians were monitored using groups of three pitfall traps at 40 m intervals within sampling grids (400 x 100 m) parallel to lakes. Sampling was undertaken in May–June and July–August 1996–1998, for 5–8 days/lake each season.


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