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Small and mid-sized carnivoresAuthor(s): Steven W. Buskirk; William J. Zielinski
Source: Mammal Community Dynamics: Management and Conservation in the Coniferous Forests of Western North America, p. 207-249
Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication
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DescriptionSmall and mid-sized carnivores of western forests represent an ecologically diverse and influential guild of forest vertebrates. They comprise over a dozen species with varied life histories and habitat associations, highly species-specific responses to human-caused habitat change, and varied conservation status across western North America. Forested habitats fulfill various of their life needs, including the need for predator escape and avoidance (e.g., marten and river otter), for protected thermal environments (e.g., marten), for specialized foods (e.g., lynx) and for access to specialized foraging areas (e.g., ermines). For several species, the specific life needs fulfilled by forested habitats can only be inferred. Vegetative species dominants are somewhat predictive of the distribution and abundance of mesocarnivores, inasmuch as moist-site species tend to be associated with long fire-return intervals, and seed-producing species (e.g., whitebark pine) attract certain species. Successional stage is highly predictive of the distribution and abundance of some species, particularly martens, fishers, and bobcats, but not at all for others.
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CitationBuskirk, Steven W.; Zielinski, William J. 2003. Small and mid-sized carnivores. Mammal Community Dynamics: Management and Conservation in the Coniferous Forests of Western North America, p. 207-249
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