Thursday, June 17, 2010
It's hard to believe spring is already drawing to a close. We've enjoyed International Migratory Bird Day celebrations across the Americas and watching our favorite species return to our backyard feeders. We're pleased to highlight a historic achievement that our colleagues helped bring to fruition, even as recent studies continue to highlight the need to protect the Boreal Forest.
Boreal Forest Home to Historic Conservation
Last month, 9 leading environmental groups and 21 forestry companies came together to announce one of the largest conservation agreements in history. Our partner, the International Boreal Conservation Campaign, led efforts to bring the parties together. The agreement includes the suspension of logging on 72 million acres of pristine caribou habitat and to the conversion of more than 170 million acres of to-be-logged boreal forest into state-of-the-art sustainable forest management zones. Many millions of Boreal birds will benefit from this historic agreement.
Read BSI Senior Scientist Dr. Jeff Wells' blog post >
New York Times article >
Agreement web site and summary >
State of the Birds Report Focuses on Climate
In April, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the 2010 State of the Birds Report, focusing on climate change and its effects on birds and their habitats. The report discusses the vulnerability of oceanic birds, lists common birds that are likely to become species of concern, highlights multiple threats to tropical birds, and more. Several boreal birds are named, among them Northern Pintail, American Oystercatcher, and Whooping Crane.
Visit official report web site >
Dr. Jeff Wells' BSI Blog post >
U.S.-Canada Partnership to Study Hydro Effects on Quebec's Boreal Forest
The Canadian Boreal Initiative, our Canadian partner, has reached across the border, teaming up with environmental groups in Canada and the United States to study the effects that Quebec hydropower would have on boreal ecosystems. While hydropower is “renewable” due to lower emissions, dams can have many local effects on the environment, including bird habitat. This cross-border partnership, with help from BSI Senior Scientist Dr. Jeff Wells, will carefully analyze hydro's effects before Quebec can market its hydropower as "renewable" in the northeastern U.S.
Read Forbes article >
Watch CBC Montreal Nightly News video >
Report Finds 4% Loss in Boreal Forests
A recent report by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) found that the world's forest cover shrank 3.1% between 2000 and 2005. The report also stated that boreal forests experienced the highest percentage loss of any major forest type globally between 2000 and 2005. Through a combination of natural disturbances like forest fires and man-made disturbances like development, boreal forests experienced a 4% decline during that period, with Canada as a nation losing an even-higher 5.2%.
Dr. Wells' BSI Blog post >
Yahoo News article >
Help Save "Wild Heart" of Boreal Forest
Help create a United Nations World Heritage Site in Manitoba's Boreal Forest. Our partner, National
Resources Defense Council, has created an Action Alert so you can encourage Manitoba Premier Greg Sellinger to keep a major industrial transmission line out of the "Heart of the Boreal" – an undisturbed area on the east side of Lake Winnipeg – and instead to preserve it as a World Heritage Site.
Send a message to Premier Sellinger >
Stop Seismic Testing in Migratory Hot Spot
The 2010 State of the Birds
report noted that 67 species of migratory oceanic birds are vulnerable to climate change, especially those that rely on arctic and coastal habitats.
However, Canada has plans for seismic testing for oil and gas in Nunavut's Lancaster Sound, a proposed marine park and the richest Arctic gathering spot for migratory species – including Boreal species such as Wandering Tattler, Surfbird, and Semipalmated Sandpiper. Our friends at Oceans North Canada have created a letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper asking him to stop seismic testing in Lancaster Sound.
Send a letter to Prime Minister Harper >