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Boreal Forest Wetlands

map boreal wetlands

Canada’s Boreal Forest is home to 25 percent of the world’s wetlands. They are the largest concentration of wetlands on Earth. Extending 1.19 million square kilometres, these wetlands represent an area larger than the province of Ontario.  This preponderance is a large part of why the Boreal has been dubbedthe ‘Forest of Blue’.

These vibrant reserves of clean water and biodiversity provide rich habitat for wildlife and store enormous amounts of carbon.

Not only do Canadian wetlands hold some of the largest natural banks of carbon on Earth, they purify water by filtering out contaminants and can dramatically reduce the extent of droughts and floods when left unaltered. They also act as critical hotspots for biodiversity and are essential in the life cycles of a vast proportion of Canada’s plants and wildlife. Protecting a wetland ecosystem achieves many benefits through just a single act of conservation.

325 bird species are known to rely on the Boreal Forest for nesting and food.

Canada has one of the most progressive conservation programs in the world. For example, Ontario and Quebec have both pledged to protect at least 50% of their wetland-rich northern boreal regions, consistent with the visionary Canadian Boreal Forest Conservation Framework that has been advocated for by 1,500 scientists worldwide.

Learn about the Boreal Wetlands
The Boreal Birds web site has published information on six of the important Boreal wetlands.  A PDF titled Wetland Wonders is also available from their web site.

About the Author

Sam Crowe

Sam is the founder of He has been birding for over 30 years and has a world list of over 2000 species. He has served as treasurer of the Texas Ornithological Society, Sanctuary Chair of Dallas Audubon, Editor of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's "All About Birds" web site and as a contributing editor for Birding Business magazine. Many of his photographs and videos can be found on the site.

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