Birding and conservation groups launched a campaign on last week calling on the Canadian and U.S. governments to preserve at least half of the boreal forest.
“The importance of boreal forest habitat for birds will only increase in the future; climate change has already begun pushing bird ranges further north, making the boreal forest an important refuge—a ‘Noah’s Ark’ for birds,” said Jeff Wells, senior scientist for the Boreal Songbird Initiative and International Boreal Conservation Campaign, said in a news release.
Besides preserving bird habitat, The Boreal Birds Need Half campaign is looking encourage sustainable development in the remaining areas. It also says industrial activities in the forest should take place only with consent from the affected indigenous communities.
The boreal forest stretches from Alaska to the region of Labrador in Atlantic Canada. Billions of birds use the forest as their breeding ground.
But many of the 300 bird species that make their way to the forest each year are in decline, such as the Canada Warbler, mainly due to loss of habitat says the Boreal Songbird Initiative.
The campaign is currently endorsed by The Boreal Songbird Initiative, Ducks Unlimited, National Audubon Society, Bird Studies Canada, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Environment for the Americas, Nature Canada, Nature Needs Half, Birdzilla, and Wild Bird Centers of America.
Campaign organizers hope businesses as well as individuals will sign on to endorse the campaign.
“When you see broad support from the scientific community, bird organizations, and everyday citizens, it makes a compelling case for increased boreal forest protection,” said Kevin Smith, national manager of boreal programs for Ducks Unlimited Canada in a news release. “In addition to protecting 50% of the boreal forest, sustainably managed development in the remaining areas will be essential to striking the right balance between ecological health and economically healthy communities.”
For more information on the campaign, click HERE
Related stories from around the North:
Canada: Fighting to protect bird habitat in North America’s boreal forest (SLIDESHOW), Eye on the Arctic
Finland: New measures to protect the Saimaa seal in Finland, Yle News
Iceland: Endangered whale meat shipped from Iceland via Halifax, The Canadian Press
Norway: Rapid growth in Svalbard walrus population, Barents Observer
Sweden: Sweden’s mountain hares changing fur color too early, Radio Sweden
United States: Chemical contaminants suspect in mystery of Alaska chickadee beak deformities, Alaska Dispatch News