A damning article by the Huffington Post circulating the web shows that Canada is the world leader in deforestation. The news comes out of a study by Forest Watch, which outlines that eight per cent of the world’s virgin forests were degraded between 2000 and 2013. Of that eight per cent, 21.4 per cent occurred in Canada.
“The imagery shows severe loss of forests in the northern parts of the Prairie provinces, including around the oilsands operations near Fort McMurray, Alberta. Very little new forest coverage has been added to compensate,” wrote the Huffington Post. “The interior of British Columbia has seen widespread forest loss, as have parts of northern Ontario and northern Quebec. Only the Maritimes showed evidence of any significant reforestation.”
While this report alone is damaging to the government’s current stance on environmental issues, the fragmentation of these forests is leading to devastation for our fur-bearing animals, too.
Fragmentation is the removal or destruction of vital links between ecosystems, something that only in recent years municipal planners have begun to consider. When water systems, safe travel corridors or vegetation is separated through deforestation or development, ecosystems can literally die.
As a result, the fur-bearing animals – raccoons, coyotes, skunks, squirrels, and others – who call these ecosystems home are forced out in search of new stomping grounds.
And we all know what that can lead to: conflict.
When our government breaks apart habitats fur-bearing animals are put at greater risk. There are ways to protect our environment without losing out on economic opportunities. But the government – your elected officials – need to be pressured into doing so.
Conservation of green spaces is also conservation of the homes for thousands of animals.