Forest Careers: For the Birds
Forest products companies manage working forests and harvest trees to make wood and paper products, but they are concerned about a lot more than just trees! They also take care of water, soil, and habitat for birds, fish and other wildlife. Manulife Investment Management manages forests and agricultural land in Idaho as well as other places in the U.S., Canada, and across the globe, including 3.6 million acres of timberland and 320,000 acres of agriculture in North America and 2.2 million acres of timberland and 75,000 acres of agriculture across Australia, Brazil, Chile and New Zealand.
Senior Wildlife Biologist Lindsey Webb oversees all of those lands! We asked Lindsey a few questions about her work:
How do timber companies look out for birds while managing forests and harvesting trees?
Working forests provide valuable habitat for wildlife, including birds. To ensure we are protecting sensitive, threatened or endangered birds that call the forests home, we survey for wildlife use prior to every harvest. Foresters or Biologists walk through the unit and look for large stick nests, cavity nests, pluck posts and other general signs of birds. Some of the protected species across the United States include woodpeckers, grouse, owls, marbled murrelets, hawks, falcons, and eagles. If we locate one of these species, foresters work with biologists to adjust harvest timing to protect birds during breeding and nesting season. Identified nest sites are also protected and buffered. In addition to surveys, we work with partners on research that benefits birds. Here’s an example of our research on sharp-tailed grouse habitat.”
What do you like about your job?
Being a wildlife biologist is a fun and exciting job. It takes curiosity, attention to detail and a love for wildlife. There are many types of jobs you can have as a wildlife biologist. You can work for a forestry and agriculture company like me, or a National Park or State Fish and Wildlife agencies, or you can work in education and share your love of wildlife with others. I love being a biologist because I love to explore outside and learn about the things that live there.
Do you have any tips for students who may be interested in wildlife biology?
Stay engaged in learning, work with others to learn something you may not know, be open to new experiences and find something you love to do.