Friday, June 01, 2007
Boreal Forest Needs Help
The Canadian Boreal Forest is one of the last, great, forest ecosystems left on earth, covering 1.4 billion acres across much of Canada and into Alaska. It is the nesting ground for over 300 different species of birds, such as the above Bay-breasted Warbler and Magnolia Warbler, poster birds for the boreal. 82% of the global population of Bay-breasteds nest in the boreal and 74% of the Magnolia's North American population breeds there. Only 10% of the boreal is protected, with 30% slated for development by logging, energy and other interests.
Recent positive news from Jeff Wells, Senior Scientist for the Boreal Songbird Initiative
is that —
"North America's Great Bird Nursery-Canada's Boreal Forest-recently
received a boost from the world scientific community
Over 1,500 highly respected scientists from more than 50 countries
around the world called on Canadian government leaders to increase protection of Canada's Boreal Forest. In an open letter, the scientists identified the 1.4 billion acre Canadian Boreal Forest as one of the largest intact forest and wetland ecosystems remaining on earth.
However, the Boreal Forest is under increasing pressure from corporate
logging, mining and oil and gas operations and only 10% has been
protected to date, far less than what is scientifically recognized as necessary to sustain the ecosystem over time.
The scientists' letter recommends preserving a minimum of half of
Canada's Boreal Forest in protected areas while allowing only carefully
managed development on the rest, in accordance with the Boreal Forest
Conservation Framework, a plan already endorsed by Canadian conservation
groups, 25 Canadian First Nations, and more than 75 major businesses
with annual sales of $30 billion."
For more information go to this excellent website:
where you can learn about the boreal, its birds, and how you can help.
Photos © Lillian Stokes, 2007