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Wildlife openingsAuthor(s): William M. Healy
Source: In: Hutchinson, Jay G., ed. Central hardwood notes. St. Paul, MN.: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 9.11
Publication Series: Other
Station: North Central Research Station
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DescriptionOpenings provide important feeding areas for forest wildlife because herbaceous vegetation grows much more abundantly in the open than beneath a forest canopy. Herbage (grasses and forbs) is generally more nutritious and digestible than woody plant growth. Herbage is important in the diet of deer, especially in late winter and early spring. Voles and rabbits use openings year round, and these small mammals are eaten by many larger predators. Insects, a primary food of young wild turkeys and other birds, may be 25 times more abundant in clearings than in forest undergrowth. So, wildlife openings and the herbage and insects they provide are an important component of forest wildlife habitat. In addition, clearings and the roads and trails that connect them may provide scenic vistas and excellent opportunities for seeing wildlife.
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CitationHealy, William M. 1989. Wildlife openings. In: Hutchinson, Jay G., ed. Central hardwood notes. St. Paul, MN.: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Forest Service, North Central Forest Experiment Station. 9.11
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