Managing a Hardwood forest for wildlife • The following are approximate percentages in order to achieve a high biodiversity in a hardwood (deciduous forest) • Increased biodiversity = increased stability • The highest diversity is obtained by creating various succession stages which will also create edge
5 – 10% should have grassy opening. This benefits groundhogs, bluebird, deer, etc. Insects provide for many woodland birds (turkey)
At least 20 % of the forest should be young trees and shrubs to produce forage ( food plants in the shrub and floor layers) for grazing and browsing animals like deer and grouse. Also provides cover.
At least 40% of the trees should be mature and supply mast (seeds, nuts, acorns, berries) for a wide variety of wildlife. ex. Oaks and cherries – squirrels, deer, turkey, seed eating birds
5 - 10 % of the trees in a forest should be old growth (over-mature) for snags – 80 species of birds need snags to nest - woodpeckers. Some animals require snags for den trees – raccoons.
Considerations: • Avoid excessive clear-cutting to prevent fragmentation in forests containing species that require large forest habitats. Use wildlife corridors (see diagram) • Avoid creating monocultures (ecosystem with a single species) – limits biodiversity