Bob Weber, The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, May 4, 2014 2:27PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 5, 2014 1:16PM EDT
EDMONTON -- Environmentalists are trying to connect the dots between the songbirds city-dwellers enjoy at backyard feeders and the need for extensive conservation areas in Canada's boreal forest.
Two international conservation groups have concluded that protecting the breeding grounds of waxwings, warblers and woodpeckers will mean preserving at least half the vast, untouched forest that stretches across the northern end of most provinces.
"Once people hear the story, they're quite captivated by it," said Jeff Wells of the Boreal Songbird Initiative, one of the sponsors of a report released Sunday.
"The idea that this bird in your backyard, especially in a big city, is actually going to go from this urban environment to one of the last big wilderness areas left on Earth, is kind of a cool idea."
That message is gaining traction among people who aren't normally associated with the environmental movement, said Kevin Smith of Ducks Unlimited, the other sponsor.