Save Our Boreal Birds
Birds of the Boreal Forest Need Your Help
Stretching from Alaska to the Atlantic Ocean, North America’s Boreal Forest is one of the world’s largest intact forests. It accounts for 25% of the earth’s remaining forests, covers 1.4 billion acres, and is larger that the Brazilian Amazon. North America’s Boreal Forest supports some of the largest populations of wildlife such as grizzly bears, Woodland Caribou and wolves, and provides vital breeding grounds for up to a third of North America’s land birds (up to a billion warblers and 500 million or more sparrows) and 40% of its waterfowl.
Boreal-breeding birds include many Audubon WatchList species, such as Canada and Bay-breasted Warblers, Olive-sided Flycatcher, and Rusty Blackbird. More than 300 bird species regularly breed in the boreal forest. Eighty species have 50% or more of their Western Hemisphere breeding range and breeding population in the boreal.
Many of the birds that spend their summer breeding in the boreal forest are Neotropical migrants that spend the winter in the Southern U.S., Mexico, the West Indies, or Central or South America. To see a map of this migration, click here. These Neotropical-wintering, Boreal-breeding migrants pass through the United States in large numbers in both spring and fall and provide the highlights of the birding year for many U.S. birdwatchers. Other boreal-breeding birds spend the winter in the United States and are among the most common species found on Audubon’s Christmas Bird Counts.
While much of the boreal region remains unspoiled at this point, development is rapidly escalating; oil and gas, mining, logging, and hydroelectric development are pushing northwards at increasing rates. Land-use decisions will determine the fate of much of the boreal region within the next five years.
Read more about Audubon's efforts to protect the boreal forest and boreal forest birds or go to www.borealbirds.org. You may especially want to download the 48-page report available there, entitled “Importance of Canada’s Boreal Forest to Landbirds” by Peter Blancher. Most of the bird information contained here comes from that report.
Two Ways You Can Help Birds of the Boreal Forest!
1. REDUCE YOUR USE OF PAPER CATALOGS
One of the major threats to the boreal forest is from logging to supply wood, pulp, and paper. The majority of the wood cut in the boreal forest is used to make paper, including catalogs. Each year, catalog retailers mail out about 17 billion catalogs. That's 59 for every man, woman, and child in the United States. Yet almost none of this paper contains recycled content. This means that every year almost eight million tons of trees go straight into catalogs that are often unread and discarded.
Our goal is to encourage some of the larger catalog companies to purchase paper from ecologically and socially responsible sources.
You can also do more in your personal consumption of paper and catalogues. When possible, try to shop online and end subscriptions to catalogues that you do not use. Also, be sure to recycle the catalogs when you are finished.
2. URGE DISPOSABLE PAPER COMPANIES TO USE MORE RECYCLED MATERIALS!
One of the largest disposable paper product companies in the world, the Kimberly-Clark Corporation, could significantly reduce its impact on the birds of the Boreal Forest by adjusting production practices and using more recycled materials. Kimberly-Clark produces such popular products as Kleenex, Scott, Viva and Cottonelle brand facial tissues, toilet paper, and paper towels - products you may use every day! By using appropriate forest management practices that preserve habitat quality and promote a healthy use of recycled paper, companies like Kimberly-Clark can reduce their destructive impact on the Boreal Forest and instead, have a tremendous beneficial impact on birds and in turn, the overall environment.
To learn more about the Boreal Forest, boreal forest birds, and efforts to conserve them, please go to www.borealbirds.org