Impacts of mountain bike trails on red squirrel populations (Sciurus vulgaris) in Northern England

Lowney, A. and Nevin, Owen ORCID logo ORCID: (2010) Impacts of mountain bike trails on red squirrel populations (Sciurus vulgaris) in Northern England. In: 24th International Congress for Conservation Biology: Conservation for a Changing Planet, 3-7 July 2010, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (Unpublished) Full text not available from this repository.

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The increase in tourism and recreational activities potentially add to the already increasing pressure on endangered and vulnerable wildlife. Impacts on wildlife caused by these increasing popular pursuits are however poorly understood. However it is thought to have damaging effects on species that can lead to a decline in local population numbers and even species richness. I tested the effect of two recently opened mountain bike trails on the abundance of the red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris), whose numbers have rapidly declined throughout Britain. Surveys were undertaken using distance sampling methods. These followed transects carried out during 2007 prior to the construction of the mountain bike trails. Data gathered was used to compare squirrel abundance with trail usage, habitat typology and population abundances from previous years. Habitat typology was the principle determinant of red squirrel abundance. The presence of mountain bike trails had a strong negative impact on the abundance of red squirrels. The negative impacts created by mountain bike trails could be alleviated by careful selection of trail sites due to habitat types. Leaving areas that provide refugees for red squirrels such as Larch (Larix deciduas) and Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis).

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)
Departments: Academic Departments > Science, Natural Resources & Outdoor Studies (SNROS) > Forestry and Conservation
Depositing User: Insight Administrator
Date Deposited: 19 Jan 2012 16:21
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 09:30
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