Hu­man Im­pacts on the Bo­real

Canadian Wildlife - - WILD THINGS -

Much of the world’s forestry, min­ing, oil and gas pro­duc­tion, hy­dro­elec­tric gen­er­a­tion, tourism and har­vest­ing of nat­u­ral prod­ucts oc­cur in the bo­real for­est. Roughly 14 per cent of Cana­di­ans liv­ing in hun­dreds of com­mu­ni­ties in the bo­real re­gion rely on these in­dus­tries. Pol­lu­tion from some of these in­dus­tries and the di­ver­sion of wa­ter flow can have se­ri­ous con­se­quences for wildlife. Neg­a­tive im­pacts of de­vel­op­ment in the bo­real for­est in­clude habi­tat loss and frag­men­ta­tion weak­en­ing nat­u­ral sys­tems and dis­turb­ing wildlife that de­pend on large, in­tact ar­eas or re­quire a spe­cific habi­tat to sur­vive. Con­ver­sion to agri­cul­tural land mod­i­fies or de­stroys wildlife habi­tat and may greatly change the amount of car­bon that can be held in the ecosys­tem. Forests hold be­tween 20 and 100 times more car­bon than do agri­cul­tural crops, and they keep the car­bon for longer pe­ri­ods. Global in­creases in tem­per­a­tures are bring­ing more fre­quent and se­vere dis­tur­bances from fire and in­sects, changes in the tem­per­a­ture, lev­els and clean­li­ness of wa­ter, and a grad­ual mi­gra­tion north­ward of the for­est it­self. Sourced from Hin­ter­land Who’s Who. For more, visit hww.ca

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