Ontario's Great Boreal Forest
Canada's boreal forest represents one of the world's most valuable natural areas. Whether the measure is fresh water, intact wildlife habitat, old-growth forests or the health of traditional cultures, maps showing the Earth's largest and most intact forests always include the broad band of forests stretching across northern Canada.
The boreal forest region is a massive ecosystem in the northern hemisphere, reaching across Russia and northern North America. On this continent, it stretches from Labrador through Quebec and Ontario and west to Alaska. This represents 5.9 million square kilometres (or 1.5 billion acres) - that's about 25% of the land area of North America.
Canada's boreal forest is an unbroken garland of green spanning our country from the Yukon to the Atlantic. This vast forest is home to billions of migratory songbirds, half of North America's waterfowl, vast caribou herds, healthy populations of wolf, moose, grizzly bears, and an abundance of game fish like lake trout, northern pike and walleyes. Canada's boreal forest is important to our well-being because it is one of the largest reservoirs of fresh water in the world. This remarkable region helps shield us from global warming by storing more carbon in its soils, forests and wetlands than any other ecosystem on the planet. Even with the tremendous globally significant benefits the boreal forest provides, only 8% of it is protected across Canada and, at present, a mere 12% in Ontario.
Boreal Forest - National Map
Courtesy of World Resources Institute