There have been two wonderful announcements for birds in the past week or so. It started last Sunday when the Premier of Quebec, Jean Charest, announced that the province of Quebec was protecting around 4.5 million acres of Boreal Forest through the creation of 14 new national parks and adding land to an already existing park. The total land protected is more than double the size of Yellowstone National Park (around 2.2 million acres).
This has enormous implications for many of the migratory birds that breed in the Boreal Forest to our North. While many of us get excited in the spring for incoming migrants like the Blackpoll Warbler, it’s easy to forget that their health and numbers largely depend on the status of their breeding grounds in Canada. 300 of the 700 species of bird that occur in the US and Canada breed in the Boreal Forest.
Just one day later, the US added to the momentum. President Barack Obama signed a landmark conservation bill that protected around 2 million acres spread across 9 US states. The land protected included a diverse selection of wilderness, including wetlands, forests, and desert – all of which will be beneficial to a wide variety of North American birds.
Together, about 6.5 million acres were permanently protected over the span of two days and two countries. While the timing was coincidental, this one-two punch of great news made last week a truly great week for North American birds and the birders who adore them.
Boreal Songbird Initiative &
The International Boreal Conservation Campaign
1904 Third Avenue, Suite 305 Seattle, Washington 98101