RMK presents Teet Paju with the award for best Master’s thesis 18.06

Today, RMK will award EUR 700 to Teet Paju, a postgraduate student at the Estonian University of Life Sciences (EULS), for the best silvicultural Master’s thesis. The Master’s thesis studied the extent of impact of forest management on the number of capercaillies and whether it is connected with deforestation or leaving the forests unmanaged.

“Traditionally, RMK highlights the best silvicultural Master’s thesis of the EULS,” explained Tiit Timberg, Member of the Management Board of RMK. He added that for RMK as the forest manager the substantive examination of capercaillies is very important because the current extensive protection of capercaillies has not stopped their population decline. “The viewpoint offered in Teet Paju’s Master’s thesis, stating that there is no direct link between the decline of the capercaillie game and deforestation, was new," explained Timberg as to why the Master's thesis was highlighted.

Teet Paju, who studied at the Institute of Forestry and Rural Engineering at EULS, will receive the award at today’s graduation ceremony. RMK is rewarding the best Master’s thesis with EUR 700 already for the thirteenth time.

The objective of the Master’s thesis that was rated the highest by the evaluation committee of EULS was to determine whether deforestation in the area of capercaillie game and its impact area affect the number of capercaillies. Hypotheses proposed to achieve the objective — deforestation and the area thereof affect the size of the game, and deforestation of the capercaillie game area is linked to the change in game size — were not confirmed. Capercaillie game studied in the Master’s thesis were mostly located on protected areas, but there were a few exceptions, for instance, the capercaillie game of Nüri in Ida-Viru County, located in a commercial forest.

The analysis of capercaillie game showed that the decline in game size in the period 2000-2012 was 0.6-4.9 per cent per year. Deforestation area and change in game size were not confirmed to be linked.

RMK is a profit-making state agency established under the Forestry Act, aimed at sustainable and efficient management of the state forest. RMK grows reforestation material, organises forest works, executes practical nature protection works and is engaged in forest management and timber sales. Additionally, RMK establishes opportunities for nature walking and forest holidays in recreation areas, in Estonia’s five national parks and almost 40 other protected areas, and shapes nature awareness. RMK manages 38% of Estonia’s forests.

Further information:
Tiit Timberg
Member of the Management Board of RMK
Telephone 504 5761