TOTAL Human Footprint:
The Boreal Forest Natural Region is a huge northern ecosystem covering 381,000 km2 or 58% of the province. The boreal consists of a mosaic of upland forests interspersed with lowland forests and an abundance of low-lying wetlands, bogs, and fens. Lodgepole Pine, Jack Pine, White Spruce, and Aspen occupy the upland; Black Spruce and Larch, the lowlands. One common type of wetland, known as peatlands, provides a unique set of ecological conditions (limited oxygen, low nutrient availability, acidic soil), which supports a distinctive set of flora; species like the Northern Green Bog Orchid and the Round-leaved Sundew thrive in these habitats. The boreal forest is considered the “bird nursery” of North America as the mosaic of forest and wetland habitat serves as the breeding grounds for millions of birds each year. In fact, many birds, such as the Palm Warbler and Bay-breasted Warbler, are almost entirely reliant on the boreal forest during their breeding seasons. Human footprint status and trend is summarized for the Boreal Forest Natural Region.
As of 2016, human footprint occupied 18.34% of the Boreal Forest Natural Region. Agriculture was the dominant human footprint, covering 11.27%, followed by forestry footprint (3.50%), and energy (1.97%). The remaining footprint types each covered < 1% of the region.
|Human Footprint Type||Area (km2)||Area (%)|
|Total Human Footprint||69,884||18.3|
|Human-created Water Bodies||381||0.1|
FIGURE: Summary of percentage cover of total human footprint broken down by human footprint category in the Boreal Forest Natural Region, circa 2016.