Allow forest to regenerate naturally following logging

How is the evidence assessed?
  • Effectiveness
  • Certainty
  • Harms

Study locations

Key messages

  • One study evaluated the effects on mammals of allowing forest to regenerate naturally following logging. This study was in Canada.



  • Abundance (1 study): A replicated, site comparison study in Canada found that, natural forest regeneration increased moose numbers relative to more intensive management in the short- to medium-term but not in the longer term.


About key messages

Key messages provide a descriptive index to studies we have found that test this intervention.

Studies are not directly comparable or of equal value. When making decisions based on this evidence, you should consider factors such as study size, study design, reported metrics and relevance of the study to your situation, rather than simply counting the number of studies that support a particular interpretation.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

  1. A replicated, site comparison study, in 2008–2009, on three large adjacent coniferous forest sites in Ontario, Canada (Boan et al. 2011) found that, following clearcutting, large-scale natural forest regeneration increased moose Alces alces numbers relative to more intensive silvicultural practices (mechanical ground preparation, replanting and herbicide application) 10 years after felling but not 30 years after felling. The number of moose faecal pellet clumps was positively correlated with the extent of naturally regenerating forest that was felled 10 years previously in areas of 10, 20 and 40 km2 around the stand, but not with the extent subject to more intensive silviculture, nor with the extent felled 30 years previously and subject to either management practice (data not presented). Ten forest stands were felled 10 years previously (five regenerating naturally and five subject to intensive silviculture) and ten were felled 30 years previously (five regenerating naturally and five subject to intensive silviculture). Moose faecal pellet clumps were counted within five circles of 5.65 m radius in each stand between July and early September of 2008 or 2009.

    Study and other actions tested
Please cite as:

Littlewood, N.A., Rocha, R., Smith, R.K., Martin, P.A., Lockhart, S.L., Schoonover, R.F., Wilman, E., Bladon, A.J., Sainsbury, K.A., Pimm S. and Sutherland, W.J. (2020) Terrestrial Mammal Conservation: Global Evidence for the Effects of Interventions for terrestrial mammals excluding bats and primates. Synopses of Conservation Evidence Series. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Where has this evidence come from?

List of journals searched by synopsis

All the journals searched for all synopses

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

This Action forms part of the Action Synopsis:

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation - Published 2020

Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

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