Environmental Impacts of Snowmobiling

Title

Environmental Impacts of Snowmobiling

Author

Quesnelle, Pauline

Host Organization

Haliburton Forest & Wildlife Reserve
the Haliburton Forest and Wildlife Reserve Ltd.

Date

2000

Location of Document

TP-192

Subject

Environmental StudiesĀ 
TourismĀ 
Environmental Impact Assessment

Abstract

The effects of snowmobiling on terrestrial vegetation have indirect consequences on associated wildlife within an ecosystem. Impacts on primary producers are made manifest in cascading effects throughout the food web. These effects are implied on wildlife through changes in habitat or home range of wildlife. Various plant communities support a diverse range of different animals. Rapid alterations in composition or density of these communities could result in indeterminate upsets in wildlife populations. Snowmobiling has four main effects on terrestrial vegetation depicted through direct effects, resulting from mechanical damage and pollutants incurred from the snowmobile, and indirect effects, caused by snow compaction and alterations in soil.

Result highlight: less recognized within the variety of organisms that occupy an ecosystem are subnivean mammals. These are small mammals such as rodents, shrews, squirrels and voles that inhabit the sub layer of snow during cold months through underground tunneling and nesting. Concern arises as alterations to the habitat occur when passage of a snowmobile causes the snow to compact sufficiently to impose stress.

Publisher

U-Links

Files

Collection

Reference

Quesnelle, Pauline, Environmental Impacts of Snowmobiling, U-Links, 2000