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Showing posts from May, 2014

Edge habitats

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WINGIN’ IT By  Kate Crowley Which is better bird habitat, field or forest?  You may be surprised to learn the answer is ‘neither’. Where the two come together – that interface, which we can call ‘edge’ is the best of both worlds.  And it is not just where these two habitats meet, but where land meets water’s edge, or even the space created by a trail or road cut through a forest.  Aldo Leopold, the father of wildlife management said, “The variety and density of life is often the greatest along edges”.  Because of exposure to sunlight, many different types of plants (and insects) grow there and attract both birds and mammals. The other side of the coin is less wonderful, because edges also provide a means of access for predators and invasive species to reach more vulnerable species. When trails or roads are cut into large swaths of forest land, they create those beneficial edges, but by creating fragmentation of the contiguous habitat, some species of birds and mammals are put at risk.  T…