Woodland habitats benefit a variety of wildlife species including many species that are at risk. While not all wildlife species require extensive forest habitat, most species use woods or benefit from them indirectly. For example, many species of fish and invertebrates require high water quality, which is supported by woodland habitat (riparian corridor) along streams and rivers. Also, rare bird species such as the cerulean warbler and Acadian flycatcher require large tracks of mature forests. Therefore, loss of woodlands and fragmentation of forests contribute to the decline in wildlife diversity.
One way to address loss of habitat is by planting non-forested areas with a diversity of trees. Studies of priority bird breeding habitat preferences and nest success indicate that expanding woodlands to connect patches and increasing forest cover in riparian areas would enhance habitat.
You can help by managing your woodlot to maintain health and by expanding your woodlot where possible. Every action will help support your greater area’s woodland wildlife habitat.
Fact Sheets from Ohio State University Extension
Federal Assistance from USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service