Wednesday, October 21, 2009

ON MY SOAPBOX AGAIN - SAVING BOREAL HABITAT

I haven't written any pleas for support of environmental causes lately, and I generally try not to get too carried away with them. But this one is too important to ignore. This is a portion of an article posted on the "Boreal Songbird Initiative" website:

Mongabay.com

500 scientists call on Quebec to keep its promise to conserve half of its boreal forest

Jeremy HanceSeptember 13, 2009

This March, the Canadian province of Quebec pledged to conserve 50 percent of its boreal forest lying north of the 49th parallel, protecting the region from industrial, mining, and energy development. On Thursday 500 scientists and conservation professionals—65 percent of whom have PhDs—sent a letter to Quebec's Premier Jean Charest calling on him to make good on his promise.


"In protecting northern Quebec’s natural environment and ensuring responsible development in the rest of the area, your government will set in motion one of the most ambitious sustainable development and nature conservation projects in North America, and one that could serve as a model for the rest of the world," the letter reads.

According to the letter, northern Quebec houses 340 million birds, more than a million caribou, and among the greatest populations of freshwater fish in North America. However, not all species are thriving: woodland caribou, the wolverine, and the golden eagle are all threatened with extinction.

A recent report in Trends in Ecology and Environment showed that the world's boreal forests (occurring mostly in wealthy countries) are greatly threatened by mining, logging, and manmade fire. They found that overall less than 10 percent of the boreal is protected and 60 percent is degraded and fragmented, while 27 percent of the species in this massive ecosystem are threatened with extinction.


The importance of the Boreal Forest is to great to ignore. There comes a time when we must just say no to greedy special interest groups that care nothing for wildlife and consider nature's creatures as expendible in their greedy pursuit of wealth.

Please consider making a donation to the Boreal Songbirds Initiative:

http://www.borealbirds.org/index.shtml

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