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7 Fun facts about the Boreal Forest

by Ariel Canie March 02, 2023 2 min read

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7 Boreal Forest Facts

The boreal forest, commonly referred to using the Russian name “taiga,” which means “coniferous forests”, is the world’s largest land biome. Boreal forests are defined as forests that grow in high altitudes and experience freezing temperatures for 6-8 months out of the year. Because boreal forests have adapted to thriving in cool temperatures, coniferous trees such as spruce and fir trees are the most common tree species found in boreal forests. Spanning across Canada, Norway, China, Finland, Russia, Sweden, Japan, and the United States, the boreal ecozone is an important component in carbon sequestration, water purification, and climate regulation. Learn more fun facts about boreal forests below!

7 Fun Facts About the Boreal Forest:

1. The Largest Boreal Forest is in Canada

Canada’s boreal forest is considered the world’s largest intact forest ecosystem and spans 1.2 billion acres (485 million hectares). Indigenous communities, ancient trees, and endangered wildlife still live in the Canadian boreal forest today.

2. Boreal Forests Store Massive Amounts of Carbon

Boreal forests make up 30 percent of the world's forests, and around 30-40 percent of the earth’s land-based carbon is stored in boreal forests, which makes them critical to protect in the fight against climate change.

3. The Wood Bison Calls it Home

The boreal forest is a habitat for the wood bison, which is North America’s largest land mammal. Adult male wood bison can measure up to 6 feet tall, 10 feet long and weigh over 2,000 pounds!

4. The Term “Boreal” Comes from a Greek God

The boreal forest was named after the greek god Boreas, who was believed to be a purple-winged god of the North wind in greek mythology. Boreas was also the god of winter, and it was believed that he could chill the air with his icy breath.

5. Logging is the Largest Threat to Boreal Forests

Approximately 1 million acres of forest are clearcut in the Canadian boreal forest alone each year. Most logging goes towards making paper products such as toilet paper and facial tissues. This is why it’s important to ensure that any paper or wood products you purchase are sustainably-sourced.

7. Many Endangered Species Live in the Boreal Forests

As mentioned before, the primary threat to boreal forests is logging, which has led to many species becoming endangered. Endangered species that rely on the boreal forests as their habitat include the grizzly bear, woodland caribou, wolverine and Siberian tiger.

8. Boreal Forests Experience Very Low Precipitation

Boreal forests usually experience very little precipitation, and when it does rain or snow, the cool temperatures often slow evaporation. This is why it’s very common to find swamps, bogs, lakes, and rivers within boreal forests. Canada’s boreal forest contains more surface freshwater than anywhere else in the world!

Want to help us restore boreal forests across the world to ensure a greener future? Click hereto plant a tree where they’re needed most.

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