Green-tree retention and recovery of an old-forest specialist, the southern red-backed vole (Myodes gapperi), 20 years after harvest

  • Published source details Sullivan T.P. & Sullivan D.S. (2017) Green-tree retention and recovery of an old-forest specialist, the southern red-backed vole (Myodes gapperi), 20 years after harvest. Wildlife Research, 44, 669-680.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Use patch retention harvesting instead of clearcutting

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Use patch retention harvesting instead of clearcutting

    A replicated, site comparison study in 2015–2016 of a coniferous forest site in British Columbia, Canada (Sullivan & Sullivan 2017) found that retaining patches of trees when harvesting sustained higher southern red-backed voles Myodes gapperi populations compared to clearfelling. Nineteen to 20 years post-harvest, there were more red-backed voles in patch retention plots (5.7/ha) than in clearfelled plots (3.3/ha). Harvesting, in 1996, comprised three replicate plots each of tree patch retention (10 m2/ha basal area, retained as a group – group sizes not stated) and clearfelling. Plot sizes ranged from 3.6–12.8 ha. Forest overstorey was mostly lodgepole pine Pinus contorta and Douglas fir Pseudotsuga menziesii, of average ages of 82–228 years. Following harvesting, sites were planted with lodgepole pine, Douglas fir and interior spruce Picea glauca × engelmannii seedlings in 1997. Small mammals were sampled at four-week intervals in May–October of 2015 and 2016. One live-trapping grid (49 traps across 1 ha) was located in each plot. Traps were set for two nights and one full day on each occasion.

    (Summarised by: Nick Littlewood)

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