Thursday, October 27, 2011
Many birds that breed in Canada's boreal forest are currently enjoying more southern climes for the fall and winter. But the boreal is still a-bustle! Check below for highlights about its new moniker, the "forest of blue," as well as the woodland caribou's connection to boreal birds, a dramatic fly-over video from Google Earth, and actions you can take to protect our beloved boreal birds and their habitat.
Report Reveals Bountiful Water Resources
A recent, groundbreaking report brings attention to the vast water resources in Canada's boreal forest. A Forest of Blue includes stunning facts about the region's mitigation of global climate change – for example: the boreal contains 25% of the world's wetlands, storing 147 billion tonnes of carbon; and boreal freshwater contributes to the formation of arctic sea ice, cooling the atmosphere and preserving arctic marine biodiversity. The boreal also includes some of the planet’s most important wetland sites for birds. BSI Science & Policy Director Dr. Jeff Wells co-authored the report with our partners, the International Boreal Conservation Campaign and the Pew Environment Group.
Read Dr. Wells' BSI blog post about the report >
Read Dr. Wells' guest post at National Geographic >
Download the report and follow media coverage >
Boreal Birds' Aquatic Paradise Under Threat
Another water-related report, released just this week, focuses exclusively on the relationship between the borealís bountiful freshwater reserves – from lakes and rivers to deltas and wetlands – and the amazing diversity of birds that call it home. Billions of migratory birds flock there every summer, and the abundance of water is a big draw. The report, titled Birds at Risk:
The Importance of Canada's Boreal Wetlands and Waterways, focuses on three aquatic regions – each critical to birds – that face increasing threats from development. Check it out to learn whatís ruffling these birdsí feathers and what we can do to help prevent it.
Get details about the report and download a PDF >
Read Dr. Wells' blog post on the boreal as aquatic paradise >
Google Earth Outreach Features Boreal Forest
Don't have the budget to hire a pilot for a fly-over of Canada's boreal forest, its vast caribou migrations and its billions of boreal birds? Now the experience is a click away. Google Earth Outreach, which makes Google Earth data available to advocacy groups, worked with our partner Canadian Boreal Initiative to launch the Canadian arm of their project. The result is a stunning video that reveals the extent of the boreal forest in ways never before possible. Now you can step into your own personal "cockpit" and fly!
Watch the Google Earth Outreach video about the boreal forest >
Read The Globe and Mail's coverage of the partnership >
Check out Dr. Wells' blog post about the video >
TAKE ACTION: Ask Canadian leaders to protect our forests >
Caribou & Boreal Birds: In It Together
What do boreal birds and woodland caribou have in common? They both rely on Canada's boreal forest for vital habitat – and they are both threatened by unchecked development. Recently, BSI Science & Policy Director Dr. Jeff Wells took a turn defending caribou, coauthoring a paper with 22 other scientists called Keeping woodland caribou in the boreal forest: Big challenge, immense opportunity. The paper was presented to federal and provincial governments, along with a letter outlining recommended conservation measures. Join us in letting key decision-makers know you support boreal forest conservation.
TAKE ACTION: Send a letter to Canadian policy-makers >
Read Dr. Wells' blog post about caribou and boreal birds >
Learn more about the paper and download a PDF >
Support Boreal Protection in Manitoba
An independent group of 75 international scientists, including our own Dr. Jeff Wells, have signed a letter supporting efforts to designate Pimachiowin Aki, a 43,000 square kilometre area of intact boreal forest spanning Manitoba and Ontario, as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Dr. Wells told The Canadian Press, "These intact areas are essentially the Noah's Ark for species in the changing world we are seeing from climate change." You can make your voice heard as well by signing a letter to the Manitoba government.
TAKE ACTION: Send a letter to government leaders in Manitoba >
Get more details about the letter >
Read coverage by The Canadian Press >