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Assessing the effects of Close-to-Nature Forestry on forest birds
February 21 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
February 21, 2023
Noon – 1 Eastern Time
Europe’s Close-To-Nature Forestry (CTNF) that protects forest canopies has not been promoted to help avian abundance or diversity; however, forest bird populations in Europe have increased 7% over the last two decades. We posit whether similar forest management approaches in the eastern USA could benefit North American birds. We sought to 1) assess the effects of forest structural characteristics on avian species richness in a CTNF managed forest; 2) compare our results to county-level eBird data to identify the challenges of assessing the impacts of forestry practices on birds at landscape scales; 3) highlight the ambiguities in current forest management guidelines for improving avian habitats and 4) suggest long-term direction for evaluating the impacts of alternative forest management practices on birds. Our case study provides preliminary evidence that CTNF-managed forests may support diverse birds of high conservation value that are normally drawn to different forest management extremes. We also provide recommendations for using eBird data to assess alternative forest management strategies at landscape scales and a synthesized look at the forest management guidelines provided by many of the major players in American ornithology.