- Simons, Erin M.
University of Maine Graduate School
I evaluated the effects of past and future forest management on habitat supply and probability of occurrence for Canada Lynx (Lynx canadesis) and American Martens (Martes americana). I used timber harvest and forest composition information derived from Landsat imagery to develop spatially explicit time series of habitat for lynx and martens (1970-2007) across 1.62 million hectares of commercial forestland in Maine. Timber harvesting was widespread with 55% of the forest lands receiving a harvest 1970-2007, which ultimately resulted in the broad scale loss of marten habitat (>435,000 ha) and the increase of lynx foraging habitat (~189,000 ha). Rapid declines i habitat supply and probability of occurrence for Martens occurred 1975-1985 spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana) outbreak. As regenerating forest created during this period began to reach 16 years post-harvest there was a rapid increase in lynx foraging habitat. and the mean density of snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus) within potential lynx home ranges, 1985-2007. Probability of occurrence for lynx increased during this period in areas of increased hare density. Marten habitat continued to decline in the 1990s and 2000s, which coincided with shifts in timber harvesting patterns that resulted from new forest policies implemented in 1991.