At the world’s first breeding centre in Langley, B.C., spotted owls are hatched in incubators, given around the clock medical care and hand fed euthanized rodents in a last-ditch effort to save the species from Canadian extinction. All the while scientists warn that the province has yet to recognize the endangered raptor as a symbol of our escalating failure to protect old-growth forests. Read the entire in-dept piece by Sarah Cox at The Narwhal.
DellaSala likened the spotted owl to the quintessential canary in a coal mine. The owl is an indicator of a “whole complex ecosystem with all the parts that are in jeopardy,” he said. “This is just one of the parts and it’s telling us we have not done a responsible job of maintaining the old-growth ecosystems upon which the owl and thousands of other species depend.”
Over 220 international scientists called on the British Columbia government to halt the rapacious logging of temperate rainforests in the province. BC coastal and inland rainforests are globally rare and strategic to Canada’s commitments to the Paris climate change accord. Read the full letter here.
Old Growth BC rainforests are among the most carbon dense forests on Earth, playing a strategic role in Canada’s commitments to the historic Paris climate change accord. (Photo credit: Conservation North)
Click for the June 28, 2018 press release.
- Interview: Early Edition with Stephen Quinn (Vancouver)
- Interview: On the Island with Gregor Craigie (Vancouver Island)
- Interview: Daybreak South with Chris Walker (Kelowna and Interior BC)
- Interview: Daybreak North with Carolina de Ryk (Prince Rupert, Prince George, Northern BC) – segment begins at 1 hour, 22 minutes
- Article: 223 international scientists urge B.C. to protect provincial rainforests (CBC, June 28, 2018)
- Article: If an old-growth tree falls in a forest, does it make political hay? (Jack Knox for the Times-Colonist, June 29, 2018)
- Op-Ed: Call for action on B.C.’s old-growth rainforests (Dominick DellaSala, Barbara Zimmerman, and Andy MacKinnon, The Province, July 4, 2018)
- Article: B.C. loggers aim to transition away from harvesting old growth — but it could take 90 years (Jon Hernandez, CBC News, July 8, 2018)
- Op-Ed: Our rainforests need action urgently (Jens Weiting, Times-Colonist, July 11, 2018)
You can also learn more about this and other temperate rainforests in “Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World” by Dr. Dominick DellaSala.
Watch and listen to two recent talks given by Dr. Dominick DellaSala at the University of British Columbia (UNBC) Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Institute. Videos are available on the UNBC website, or click below to go directly to Dominick’s talks.
Temperate and Boreal Rainforests of the World: Ecology and Conservation
Edited by Geos Institute Chief Scientist, Dominick A. DellaSala, Ph.D.
Temperate and boreal rainforests are biogeographically unique. Compared to their tropical counterparts, they are rarer and at least as endangered. Because most temperate and boreal rainforests are marked by the intersection of marine, terrestrial, and freshwater systems, their rich ecotones are among the most productive regions on Earth. Many of them store more carbon per hectare than even tropical rainforests, contain some of the oldest and largest trees on the planet, and provide habitat for scores of rare and unique species including some with affinities dating back to the supercontinent Gondwanaland and when dinosaurs were king.
Given temperate and boreal rainforests are very wet places and trees are relatively long-lived they are highly productive ecosystems that store carbon for centuries in massive trees, dense foliage, and productive soils. In fact, these rainforests are among the world’s champions in storing carbon. In 2007, these cool-weather rainforests contained roughly 196 gigatonnes of carbon – the equivalent of more than six times the total annual carbon dioxide emissions from human activities.
In 2011, Geos Institute and partners completed an updated global synthesis of temperate and boreal rainforests of the world, using advanced computer mapping and local partnerships with 32 scientists to identify just ten regions of the world that qualified as temperate and boreal rainforest:
- Pacific Coast of North America (redwoods to Alaska containing the greatest extent of these rainforests globally)
- Inland northwest British Columbia and portions of Idaho and Montana
- Eastern Canada (portions of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, eastern Quebec)
- Europe (Norway is boreal; British Isles, Ireland, Swiss Alps, and Bohemia are temperate);
- Western Eurasian Caucasus (Georgia, Turkey, Iran)
- Russian Far East and Inland Southern Siberia (transitional between boreal and temperate)
- Japan and Korea
- Australasia (Australian mainland, Tasmania, New Zealand)
- South Africa (Knysna-Tsitsikamma)
- Chile & Argentina (Valdivia temperate rainforests)