Impacts of Logging Activities in the Boreal Forest on the Health of the American Marten (Martes americana)
1Service de Médecine Zoologique, Département de Sciences Cliniques and Centre Québécois Sur la Santé des Animaux Sauvages, Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire, Université de Montréal, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC, Canada; 2Chaire Industrielle CRSNG-UQAT-UQAM en Aménagement Forestier Durable, Département des Sciences Appliquées, Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Rouyn-Noranda, QC, Canada
A total of 154 live-trapped American martens (Martes americana) were examined under general anesthesia using isoflurane as part of a program to evaluate the impact of different logging strategies in the boreal forest of Quebec. Body condition indexes (weight/length), hematologic profiles, and levels of parasitism were assessed and correlated with the percentages of residual forest and logged surface in a 1 km radius around each capture site, using Chi-square test as well as linear and logistic regressions. A weak, but statistically significant, association (p=0.04) existed between body condition and the percentage of area logged, which suggests a possible impact of logging on the energy intake and expenditure of this species. No association between hematologic profiles and habitat indexes was noted. Indications of chronic poor condition such as anemia and dehydration were not related to the environmental indices evaluated. A significant positive relationship was shown between the neutrophil:lymphocyte ratio and the time of day at which the blood sample was taken. This change in the inflammatory cell populations, which is probably consecutive to the stress associated with the length of confinement in the trap, has, therefore, little value in the evaluation of chronic environmental stress. No association between the prevalence of the different fecal parasites and the habitat indices was observed. Martens in which ear parasites were detected were captured in areas with statistically lower percentage of logged surface than unaffected martens. This difference in levels of parasitism may be associated with a reduced density of this species of mustelid as logging pressure increases.