Forest Health (module 7, p. 2)
Endemic levels of damaging insects and disease fungi are partially maintained by a wide variety of natural occurring animals.
- Maintenance of populations of the animals will reduce outbreaks of pests.
- Some valuable habitat areas should be left untreated in controlling pest outbreaks. These areas will ensure the continued maintenance of the natural predator populations. The areas should include attributes such as dead trees, broad-leaf trees, riparian habitat, gullies and rock-outcrops.
Retention of stand attributes such as dead trees and coarse woody debris will support larger populations of, for example, hawks, owls and martens. These predators will limit the development of damage causing populations of hares, porcupines, squirrels and voles.
In addition, retention of dead trees and coarse woody debris will enhance species of woodpeckers, and other insectivorous birds and bats. These predators will limit the development of damage causing populations of insect pests such as the mountain pine beetle.
Animals that consume damaging insects and small mammals are listed in Appendix 2.
Planting native tree species, such as western red cedar or western white pine that are resistant to various root diseases, will limit the impact of timber damage and will contribute to the creation of more diverse animal habitat.