In case you missed it and forgot to send a card -- as did I -- Wednesday was the International Day for Biodiversity.
Ask most people, and they think it's related to the number of species in a particular area. The more species, the more biodiversity.
So, naturally, they think of places like the Amazon as being biodiversity strongholds.
But a report from the Boreal Songbird Initiative and Ducks Unlimited begs to differ. They think other characteristics — concentrations of species, for instance, or the presence of large-scale migrations — also should factor into the ranking of biodiversity.
And by that measure, they say, Canada's vast boreal forest, an vast swath of the nation that lies between the northern tundra and the more southerly temperate rainforests, rates high.
Among the more impressive features the report details:
The groups identified ten "cool spots" in the Canadian boreal that highlight its conservation value.
"As climate change continues to impact the planet, Canada's boreal forest becomes even more critical to protect," the report notes.
The boreal is a massive terrestrial carbon storehouse — sequestering an amount equivalent to 300 years worth of Canada's annual greenhouse gas emissions. Maintaining the boreal — and keeping that carbon sequestered — "is crucial," the report said.
Plus, "Canada's boreal will also become increasingly important as a place of refuge for species forced northward by inhospitable climates farther south."