Canada lynx, and their primary prey snowshoe hares, live in high-elevation spruce-fir forests, which are increasingly modified by spruce-bark beetle outbreaks. One important management question is how the timber from these insect-impacted forests can be salvaged in ways that also facilitate lynx conservation. This issue is of particular concern since climate change is expected to increase the severity of insect-related disturbance in conifer forests.
The Rocky Mountain Research Station, in cooperation with the Rio Grande National Forest, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and the Montana State University, is investigating how lynx and snowshoe hare respond to spruce bark beetle outbreaks. The goal of our research is to combine lynx use of insect-impacted forests with measures of forest condition. Our results will inform forest prescriptions that facilitate timber-salvage and lynx conservation.
See the full project description here: Lynx and snowshoe hare response to spruce-beetle tree mortality: Evaluating habitat suitability and timber salvage in spruce-fir forests
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