Over 400,000 hectares of Caribou habitat destroyed for toilet paper and lumber every year 1

The boreal forest makes up a quarter of the world’s intact forests.1 It’s home to some of the largest populations of iconic creatures like the Canada Lynx, Black Bears, Moose and billions of migratory songbirds.

But with only 10% protected, these magnificent creatures may soon become but a memory.2

This includes our beloved boreal Woodland Caribou, who are suffering alarming rates of population decline across Canada.

The number one threat to this cherished species is industrial logging, pushing some herds to become critically endangered.1,3

The Canadian logging industry insists that tearing the boreal to shreds is sustainable, shrugging off the dire effects on at-risk species and climate change.

But logging in the boreal is having detrimental consequences for our environment globally. As the world’s largest terrestrial carbon storehouse, the Canadian boreal forest alone stores an equivalent of 27 years of global CO2 emissions from fossil fuels.2

The boreal forest can’t keep up with the ferocious pace of industrial logging today.

Urgent protection for the boreal

Disappointingly, Canada doesn’t classify logging in the boreal as “deforestation” because it’s not being converted to farmland or city development. This loophole downplays the decimation occurring in the boreal.1

The federal government is failing to regulate the logging industry’s environmental impact. This undermines our admirable commitment to protect 25% of Canada’s land and oceans by 2025 and 30% by 2030.

Nature Canada is among several conservation groups who have endorsed the Boreal Conservation Framework, an alliance of conservation groups, First Nations, and leading Canadian companies.

The Framework calls for:

  • protecting at least 50% of the region in a network of large interconnected protected areas, and
  • supporting sustainable communities, world-leading ecosystem-based resource management practices, and state-of-the-art stewardship practices in the remaining landscape.

Most recently, Nature Canada and partners are pressing for the federal government to invest more funds for Indigenous-led conservation and stewardship in these important lands.

Nature Canada is committed to taking action to protect the boreal. This is urgent and there’s simply too much to lose.

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Are we close to saying goodbye to the Woodland Caribou?4

Found almost exclusively in the boreal, Woodland Caribou are an indicator species of the boreal forest. Looking at the trend of dwindling populations, this tells us that the boreal forest is in bad shape.

If we don’t halt the decimation of habitat, existing populations will spiral down quickly.

Caribou typically produce a single calf each spring, seeking traditional calving grounds in remote, isolated areas. But when commercial operations, like logging, compromise these areas, calf survival is affected. Calf survival rates are 30%-50%, significantly reducing the herd’s ability to recover when numbers are threatened.

Woodland Caribou are facing disturbance on all levels and low birth rates coupled with high calf mortality rates means populations are very susceptible to stress.

Ensuring the long-term health of boreal ecosystems is mandatory for survival of the Woodland Caribou but, so far, governments have made little headway to adequately protect boreal forest within the Caribou range.

Together we can save the Woodland Caribou

In 2020 thousands of letters were sent and petitions were signed to tell decision-makers to Make Room for Nature by defending Canada’s glorious boreal forests, wetlands, grasslands, tundra, oceans, and lakes by protecting 30% of lands and waters by 2030.5

You, and all the amazing Nature Canada supporters are integral to these ambitious goals.

Canadians overwhelmingly want greater protection for natural areas and the stunning abundance of life they support. And this is more urgent than ever.

Nature Canada won’t stop building this movement to demand federal investments in protected areas and Indigenous-led conservation and stewardship initiatives.

Last year we saw encouraging wins for nature like interim protection for pastures in the Prairie Grasslands of Southern Saskatchewan and promises of 2 new conservation reserves in Ontario’s Prince Edward County.5

It was only through your support that we have these wins, together we can protect what matters to us.

We need your help to protect the boreal Woodland Caribou

Nature Canada is calling on the Government of Canada to protect the home of the Woodland Caribou for all our sakes. The boreal forest is a crucial part of Canada’s wilderness that we need to harness in our climate goals.

We need to make sure that part of Canada’s commitment to protect 25% of our land and oceans by 2025 and 30% by 2030 includes the majestic boreal forest.

Speak up on behalf of the boreal Woodland Caribou and ensure stronger measures are taken to protect this iconic species.

You can help ensure we don’t lose iconic species like the Woodland Caribou by taking this 2-minute survey.

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1 naturecanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Boreal-Report-2020.pdf
2 naturecanada.ca/discover-nature/canadas-different-environments/canadas-boreal-forest/
3 naturecanada.ca/news/archived/we-need-your-voice-help-protect-the-boreal-woodland-Caribou/
4 Adapted from Deborah Carr’s Woodland Caribou’s naturecanada.ca/discover-nature/endangered-species/woodland-Caribou/
5 naturecanada.ca/news/blog/hope-thankyou-supporters/