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Control of small mammal damage in the alberta canada oil sands reclamation and af forestation program



Control of small mammal damage in the alberta canada oil sands reclamation and af forestation program



Forest Science 26(4): 687-702



Open pit mining procedures being conducted in the [Athabasca] oil sands of northeast Alberta greatly disrupt many acres of the environment. The reclamation and afforestation program intended to restore the forest habitat encountered problem when a large percentage of young nursery raised trees planted on a tailings pond dyke and on overburden dump sites were girdled by meadow voles [Microtus pennsylvanicus] in the dense grass habitat created to stablilize steep sandy slopes of the spoil piles. The study monitored small mammal populations through a high, low and a 2nd high level commensurate with the 3-4 yr population cycle of small mammals. A [rodent] control technique utilizing grain treated with an anticoagulant rodenticide made available to the mice in poisoned bait feeder stations effectively reduced small mammal numbers to very low levels and reduced girdling damage from an average of 50% to 1-2%.

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