Canada needs to preserve half of boreal forests against industrial pressure

Global News

A group of top international scientists says Canada needs to dramatically up its conservation game to ensure its vast northern forests remain healthy in the face of increasing industrial pressure.

In a paper to be presented today at the International Congress of Conservation Biology in Baltimore, Md., its authors argue that Canada needs to preserve about half of its boreal forest. That’s significantly more than the 10 per cent level researchers previously thought was necessary to conserve natural systems.

“Conservation science has caught up to an understanding of what is really needed,” said Jeffs Wells, a scientist with the Boreal Songbird Initiative and one of 23 researchers from Canada and around the world who contributed to the paper.

“We need to have much larger spaces than was ever realized.”

Scientists used to set conservation goals by looking at single species or representative slices of landscape, Wells said.

“They didn’t really…

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