A meta-analysis of forest age and structure effects on northern flying squirrel densities


  • Associate Editor: Henry Campa, III.


Research on the impact of clearcut logging and partial harvesting practices on northern flying squirrels (Glaucomys sabrinus) has shown inconsistent and contrary results, limiting the use of this species as a management indicator species. Much of this variability in study results is due to the labor intensive nature of studying flying squirrels, resulting in small sampling sizes (average = 5.2 sites, n = 14) and high variation (CV = 0.59) across studies. We conducted a meta-analysis of relevant studies from North America to determine how forestry practices affect flying squirrel abundance. Mean effect size was −1.18 (P < 0.001; n = 14) for all studies, indicating a strong difference between control stands and those regenerating postclearcut or following partial harvesting. Our results support the association of northern flying squirrels with mature, uncut forest and their suitability as ecological indicators of these vegetation types. © 2011 The Wildlife Society.