Thursday, December 2, 2010
We hope you enjoyed the fall migration and are gearing up for a happy and healthy holiday season. We've got lots of bird news to share with you, and as gift-giving approaches, we hope you'll keep BSI in mind through traditional donations or by adopting a boreal bird.
Boreal: Best Protected Forest on Earth?
Presenting a report this summer at the International Congress for Conservation Biology, our partner Steve Kallick of the International Boreal Conservation Campaign stated that Canada's boreal forest is well on its way to becoming more protected than any other intact ecosystem in the world – and that even greater conservation lies ahead. About four-fifths of the forest is intact, and about two-thirds of that could be protected if the Canadian government follows up on various promises and plans. We've accomplished a lot, and as always, there's more to be done!
Read BSI Senior Scientist Dr. Jeff Wells' blog post >
Vancouver Sun article >
Globe and Mail article >
Boreal Birds Still Affected by Gulf Oil Spill
Millions of birds that breed in Canada's boreal forest spend their winters in the Gulf coast and could still be affected by the lingering effects of the BP oil spill. Shorebirds in particular face unknown issues as they hunt for food in oiled waters. Habitat degradation and contamination of food sources are just some of the ways the oil spill could have adverse effects on these birds for years to come.
Dr. Wells' blog post on the Gulf spill >
Listen to Dr. Wells' interview on Radio
Canada International's The Link >
Help Protect Reindeer This Holiday Season
Our Senior Scientist Dr. Jeff Wells recently set down his binoculars to help out a different Canadian species in need. He attended the 2010 North American Caribou Workshop along with more than 400 scientists, wildlife managers and – in a new turn this year – Aboriginal leaders. Caribou, also known as reindeer, are in severe decline, and Canada's boreal forest is home to some of their largest remaining herds. Much of the same protection we seek for bird habitat will also help caribou.
Dr. Wells' guest column in National Geographic News about the caribou's plight and the workshop's response >
TAKE ACTION: Protect woodland caribou and their boreal habitat >
Conflicting Mining Decisions Impact Birds
The good news: Canada's federal government canceled the Prosperity Mine project in British Columbia due to environmental and Aboriginal concerns. The mine would have destoyed vast areas of bird habitat and contaminated a lake visited by passing waterfowl.
Globe and Mail on Prosperity Mine >
The bad news: they simultaneously opened the Edéhzhíe interim-protected area in the Northwest Territories to mineral staking. Known as the Horn Plateau, Edéhzhíe is slated to become a National Wildlife Area, and is home to nearly 200 bird species including shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors and songbirds.
Dr. Jeff Wells' BSI Blog post on the Edéhzhíe >
TAKE ACTION: Ask officials to ban mining in
Singing Stocking Stuffers for Bird Enthusiasts
Shopping for the holidays? Great Gray Owls, Whooping Cranes, and Trumpeter Swans are waiting for their chance to sing for your favorite bird lover. Each tweets authentically when you squeeze it and comes with a certificate full of information about its boreal habitat. It's the perfect stocking stuffer for the birders in your life. Proceeds benefit the Boreal Songbird Initiative and our efforts to protect Canada's boreal forest on behalf of the billions of birds that rely on it.
Order by December 13 and your bird will arrive by December 24 >