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Canada is home to the largest boreal forest in the world, a vast expanse of wilderness rich in biodiversity that stretches from coast to coast. But a major new study examining nearly a half century of logging in Ontario and Quebec warns that clear-cutting has left forests in the provinces severely depleted — and puts woodland caribou at risk.
The peer-reviewed research, published in the academic journal Land, found that logging practices between 1976 and 2020 have resulted in the loss of more than 14 million hectares of forest, an area roughly twice the size of New Brunswick.
There are only 21 million hectares of older forest (defined as forests 100 years or older) remaining in the region.
The researchers calculated that older forests make up only 42 per cent of the forest area, and most of the remaining older forest is in the remote north. "It's very frightening. It was startling to see how little is left and how badly fragmented it is," said Malcolm.
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