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Jeffrey Wells is a science adviser to The Pew Charitable Trusts and science director at the Boreal Songbird Initiative.

In Canada’s Boreal Forest, ‘The Land That Gives Life’ Inspires a Push for Protection

A couple works to win UNESCO recognition to help save the vast wilderness of Pimachiowin Aki and preserve a culture’s link to the Earth  For millennia, the Anishinaabe people of the Poplar River First Nation, in the Canadian province of Manitoba, have called the boreal forest that surrounds and sustains them Pimachiowin Aki: The Land…

Why Protecting Canada’s Boreal Forest is This Century’s Great Conservation Idea

A hundred years ago, the Migratory Bird Treaty helped shape North America’s conservation ethic. Today, new initiatives in Canada offer hope for a sound environmental future. Historians would not consider 1916 a good year for the planet. The largest war the world had ever seen was raging in Europe, with millions of people killed and…

Obama-Trudeau Summit Is Chance to Celebrate, and Grow, U.S.-Canada Conservation Successes

From birds to boreal forest, nations have long history of cooperation to protect environment When Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau heads south on March 10 for his first official visit to the United States, his plane may well pass directly over some of the billions of birds migrating north from points throughout the U.S. to…

Good Migrants, and Good News, From Canada’s Boreal Forest

New protected areas provide a haven for migratory birds—and much more Throughout the fall, migratory birds have been streaming through the United States, headed south from their breeding grounds in the boreal forest of Canada. Some will make very long journeys to places as distant as the Caribbean, Mexico, or South America. Many—an estimated 1…

The ‘Family of 5’ Primary Forests: A Snapshot of What Remains

Here’s a fact that should be disturbing to anyone concerned about our imperiled forests: The pace of deforestation has accelerated so rapidly over the past 200 years that today our planet harbors only one-quarter of its original old-growth forest—i.e., forest that has never been logged or cleared. Using detailed satellite imagery and geographic information system…

Reclaiming the World’s Boreal Forests

At this year’s World Wilderness Congress in Salamanca, Spain, an impressive gathering of conservationists—including scientists, policy experts, government officials, artists, musicians, and young people—came together to discuss international wilderness conservation. Activists with a European movement called Rewilding Europe, for example, are working to protect and restore Europe’s largest areas of intact forest by trying to…

Of Kangaroos and Caribou

At first glance, Australia and Canada could not be more different. Separated by more than 7,500 miles (12,000 km), one country known for its hot, dry lands and kangaroos and the other for its cold, wet forests and caribou. But at a symposium at the International Congress for Conservation Biology last July, which I co-chaired…

The Treasures of Tursujuq: one of North America’s largest national parks

With little fanfare, the Inuit people of Nunavik in northern Quebec, the Grand Council of the Cree, and the Government of Quebec announced the creation of Tursujuq National Park—a 6.5 million acre protected area along the eastern shore of Hudson Bay. Not only is this remarkable for its size—it’s the largest protected area in eastern North America and one of the top 10 largest parks on the continent—but perhaps even more incredible is that the park is several million acres larger than it had been expected to be a few years ago.

In Decline, Caribou Face a Tough Winter in Canada

It was once our largest caribou herd, and one of the biggest herds of large migratory mammals anywhere in the world.  The George River caribou of northern Quebec and Labrador were surpassed in numbers perhaps only by Africa’s wildebeest. But now their population is perilously small—about 4 percent of its peak. Although migratory caribou, also…

Tenacious Whimbrels Can Handle Hurricanes, Not Habitat Loss

  Hurricane Isaac captured the country’s attention last month as it lumbered across Florida and raked over New Orleans, impacting millions of people. But before Isaac had even reached land, indeed while it was still not even a hurricane, many in the birding world were watching a single bird struggling against its high winds. I…

Science and Conservation Gets a Boost from Google

The latest technology from Google coupled with a partnership that blends science, technology and activism has resulted in a coast-to-coast virtual tour of Canada’s boreal forest.