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The Boreal is home to large populations of wolves, bears, moose and a number of smaller animals

About Canada's Boreal

Fast Facts

Canadians live and work in the Boreal

  • More than 600 First Nations communities maintain traditional roots in the Boreal
  • Approximately 14 per cent of Canada’s population calls the Boreal home, including the residents of cities such as St. John’s, Thunder Bay, Fort St. John and Chicoutimi
  • Recreation-related activities, such as canoeing, hiking and birding in the Boreal, contribute more than $4 billion to the economy every year according to a 2005 report by the Pembina Institute for CBI
  • There are about 7,000 forest-related establishments throughout Canada's Boreal forests, providing jobs to nearly 400,000 people
  • About one-half of Canada's annual wood harvest comes from the Boreal Forest, making a sizable contribution to the more than $400 million in annual government payments from the forest sector

Many of Canada’s iconic birds and animals call the Boreal home

  • More than 30 per cent of North America’s bird population relies on the Boreal for breeding
  • 325 bird species depend on Boreal shelter during their lives
  • Labrador’s George River caribou herd is the largest in the world
  • The Boreal is home to large populations of wolves, bears, moose and a number of smaller animals

Wetlands help define the vast Boreal ecosystem

  • More than 26 million ducks and waterfowl nest and breed in Canada’s Boreal each year
  • 30 per cent of the Canadian Boreal is covered by wetlands, an estimated 1.5 million lakes and some of the country’s largest river systems
  • Boreal ecosystems contain the largest expanse of freshwater in the world; more than 80 per cent of the world’s liquid freshwater is found in the Boreal

The Boreal is worth more than you might think

  • More than 208 billion tonnes of carbon are stored in the Canadian Boreal’s trees, soils, water and peat –equivalent to 26 years’ worth of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The global Boreal is the largest terrestrial carbon “bank account” on the planet
  • Naturally-occurring ecosystem services provided by the Boreal, such as carbon storage and water filtration, are worth 2.5 times more than the value of extracting resources such as minerals and timber

The Boreal is one of the largest intact ecosystems on the planet

  • The Boreal Forest houses 25 per cent of the world’s remaining original forests
    It is Canada’s largest ecosystem, covering 58 per cent of the country
  • The Boreal stretches through all provinces except PEI, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
  • Only 10 per cent of Canada’s Boreal is currently protected by governments; only 6 per cent is permanently protected

Numerous species of trees, flowers and plants fill the Boreal landscape

  • Pine, spruce, aspen, poplar and larch trees dominate the forestlands of Canada’s Boreal.
  • Sphagnum moss is highly absorbent and can hold up to 20 times its weight in water
  • Flavourful salmonberries, highbush blueberries, large cranberries, black and red huckleberries and western serviceberries all grow wild in Canada’s Boreal
  • Flower lovers can find English daisies, marsh marigolds, wild geraniums, Canada lilies and Canada violets in the Boreal