MOOSE AND ECOSYSTEM MANAGEMENT IN THE 21ST CENTURY - DOES THE KING HAVE A PLACE? A CANADIAN PERSPECTIVE
Canada's provincial, federal, and territorial governments committed to a Canadian Biodiversity Strategy in 1995 for the conservation and sustainable use of Canada’s biodiversity. Contemporary demands on natural resources and the move to ecosystem based management dictated a different approach to resource management then was traditionally the case. Public awareness of biological diversity and understanding of the need for conservation dictated the new approach. Ecosystem management means using an ecological approach to achieve forest management by blending the needs of society with environmental values in such a way that ecosystems remain diverse, healthy, productive, and sustainable. Canada was mapped into ecozones and ecoregions, which are a unique combination of landscape, physiography, and climate. Use of these widely accepted categories facilitates interjurisdictional co-operation. There is increasing evidence that moose play a fundamental role in structure and function of boreal forests. Management guidelines for moose habitat favour wildlife species which use edge and early successional habitats. In Manitoba, use of 5 forest types by 257 wildlife species suggested that managing for moose habitat will accommodate the habitat needs for 62% of other boreal wildlife species. This reinforces findings elsewhere that moose are an important indicator species and have a major role to play in forest management and conservation of biodiversity.
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