2004 Research Grant Recipient - Lanna Campbell
Pine Marten protector
Analyzing dead and dying trees in Newfoundland’s only remaining old-growth forest
wouldn’t be quite as engaging if it didn’t have the potential to save the pine
Lanna Campbell, a geography and environmental studies student at New Brunswick’s Mount
Allison University, is one of this year’s recipients of The Royal Canadian Geographical
Society’s research grants. She studied forests in the Main River watershed, at the
southern part of the northern peninsula, with the marten’s welfare in mind.
Pine Marten (Photo: Art Wolfe/Photo Researchers)
The Newfoundland pine marten (Martes americana atrata), a small weasel-like mammal, is considered
a threatened species on the island. Although some fall prey to trappers, habitat loss from
forestry is primarily to blame for its decline.
Last summer, Campbell analyzed cores from felled trees to determine their age and the time
since their death. Martens survive in the area, feeding mostly on voles and mice, which tend
to live in decaying trees.
“My research will tell us how long the structures on the forest floor have been there,” says
Campbell, a component of the pine marten habitat that is often overlooked but critical to
Although she collected core samples and wood slices, Campbell hopes her data will help the
province develop a method of visual analysis for estimating the age of a forest just by looking
at its deadwood. This kind of system, used in the Pacific Northwest of the United States,
would be a first for Newfoundland — and potentially help save the Newfoundland pine
— Jacques Krzepkowski