28 February 2018 (Port Rowan, Ontario) – Bird Studies Canada is greatly encouraged by the Canadian government’s renewed commitment to protecting Canada’s natural areas. The federal announcement of $1.3 billion to protect Canada’s lands and waters represents a historic financial investment by the government in nature – and in the protection of our unique natural areas, ecosystems, and wildlife.
“Results from our volunteer bird counts and targeted research help identify where protected areas are most needed,” said Steven Price, president of Bird Studies Canada. “Creating new protected areas helps stop habitat degradation and loss, saving birds and nature for future generations. We applaud the newly-announced federal plans for meaningful investments in environmental conservation.”
Species extinctions and biodiversity loss have been accelerating at unprecedented rates. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) has identified about 600 species as “at risk” of extinction, including just over 90 bird species. Many of the habitats upon which these species depend are also at risk of vanishing from the Canadian landscape.
Expanding and strengthening our protected areas network is a critical step to safeguarding our natural ecosystems and preserving Canada’s natural heritage for generations to come. $1.3 billion over the next five years will enable the Canadian government to deliver on the 2010 promise to protect at least 17% of our land and inland waters and 10% of oceans by 2020.
Many areas across Canada have already been identified as priorities for protection. And there is a great deal of overlap between these spaces and habitats for threatened and vulnerable bird populations, including internationally recognized Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas.
About Bird Studies Canada
Bird Studies Canada (www.birdscanada.org) is Canada’s leading national charitable organization dedicated to bird science and conservation.
About the Green Budget Coalition
Bird Studies Canada is one of the 19 leading Canadian environmental organizations that make up the Green Budget Coalition. The coalition presents analyses of the most pressing issues regarding environmental sustainability in Canada, and makes recommendations to the federal government regarding strategic fiscal and budgetary opportunities. Visit www.greenbudget.ca to read the coalition’s Recommendations for Budget 2018.
Ontario Program Manager
Bird Studies Canada
Tel. 519-586-3531 ext. 123 or 1-888-448-2473 (Toll-free)