Is the identification of moose emphasis areas well maintained in Ontario's sustainable forest licences?
MetadataShow full item record
Ontario’s Ministry of Mines, Northern Development, Natural Resources and Forestry is responsible for wildlife data collection to support forest management throughout the province. Moose aquatic feeding areas (MAFAs) are a seasonally important habitat feature for moose and are classified using a standardized ranking system to assess their quality. However, throughout the province, over 64% of MAFAs were surveyed more than 15 years ago and over 84% were surveyed more than 10 years ago, with some sites last surveyed as long ago as 36 years. Forest management polices relating to moose habitat have undergone relatively recent changes, such as the requirement for identifying Moose Emphasis Areas. However, MAFA data is still regularly used throughout the planning process. Due to natural macrophyte succession, the effects of beavers as ecosystem engineers, and the effects of ongoing moose herbivory, dated information on MAFAs may not accurately reflect their current state. To test the hypothesis that the quality of MAFAs may change over time, 32 sites in the Nipissing Forest were resurveyed for comparison. Over a third changed in quality since the last survey. Future management considerations may include updating information on MAFAs more frequently, such as on a 10- year basis, so that resource managers can make more informed decisions.
- Undergraduate theses