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Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Embargo Period


Degree Program

Environmental Conservation

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Anthropogenic climate change has had profound impacts on populations, species, and ecological communities. Rising temperatures and changes in precipitation have altered species’ climate niches, forcing populations to shift ranges or adapt in place. The northeastern region of the United States is particularly vulnerable to losing unique habitats, including the boreal forest that is at its southern limit in this region. To protect forest health, silvicultural approaches are being considered to reduce recent and future climate change impacts. However, little research has investigated how these adaptive silviculture approaches will affect wildlife. I analyzed remote camera data taken at the New England Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change (ASCC) sites in Northern New Hampshire and in two other forests (The Nulhegan Basin of the Silvio O. Conte Fish and Wildlife Refuge in Vermont and the along the Jefferson Notch of the White Mountains of New Hampshire). Across seven years, the camera captured 36 mammal and bird species, as well as snowpack observations. For my thesis, I analyzed the occupancy across the three forests from 2018 to 2022 of eight species: American red squirrel, American marten, fisher, snowshoe hare, white-tailed deer, coyote, black bear, and moose. These species are commonly found in Northern New England and are of management concern. Boreal species like marten, fisher, snowshoe hare, and moose are at their southern range limit and are at risk of losing suitable habitat. Whereas the northern hardwood species like red squirrel, white-tailed deer, coyote, and black bear are likely to gain suitable. I conducted a generalized linear mixed model with the glmmTMB R package to analyze the influence of the silvicultural treatments on six of the focal species detection rates at the ASCC location. I analyzed occupancy models of the focal species created from the unmarked R package. As predicted, I observed high occupancy estimates for American marten and red squirrels in the White Mountains location. Moose had high occupancy estimates in Nulhegan Basin. Lastly, the ASCC location had the most variable occupancies for the focal species. These findings provide valuable insights into species occupancy and resources patterns and the effect of adaptive silviculture and changing environmental factors.

First Advisor

Professor Toni Lyn Morelli

Available for download on Thursday, August 01, 2024