Nature Canada

IBAs officially protected in Canada’s newest national park!

Wow, what an exciting Friday! Today’s announcement of a new national park and waterway provincial park is a great step for boreal forest conservation in Labrador – and across Canada! As Katherine blogged earlier, these new protected areas are the culmination of efforts by many, many organizations and individuals over a long period – some for more than 30 years.

Despite what you might think, this announcement is for the birds…
It really is.

We have reports that several important bird areas (IBAs) in the Mealy Mountains region have been included in the final boundary for the protected areas. This will help to protect important breeding, staging, moulting and feeding habitats for a number of waterfowl species, including the Atlantic Puffin, Razorbill, Common Eider, Harlequin Duck, Surf Scoter and more. We’ll give you specific names and locations of the newly protected IBAs as soon as Parks Canada releases an electronic version of the map to the on-line community.

Breeding boreal landbirds will also benefit greatly from the new protected areas. Species such as Peregrine Falcon (threatened), Rusty Blackbird (special concern) , Olive-sided Flycatcher (threatened, no SARA status yet) and Wilson’s Warbler will each benefit from the expansive mosaic of wetlands, open tundra and old-growth forests safeguarded against development by the forthcoming protected areas.

So there you have it, today’s announcement really is for the birds!

All of us at Nature Canada once again congratulate federal Minister of Environment, Jim Prentice, and Newfoundland & Labrador Minister of Environment and Conservation, Charlene Johnson, for pledging to protect such a large area of pristine boreal forest. Canadians from coast, to coast, to coast are no doubt overjoyed by the news; a 2008 poll conducted for the Canadian Boreal Initiative found that 91% of Canadians want governments to do more to protect our nation’s boreal forest.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for more wonderful conservation announcements like this throughout this International Year of Biodiversity!

Yours in conservation,
Alex

Photos: Harlequin Duck and Peregrine Falcon, both by Larry Kirtley

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