Grassland Bird Recovery Program

Programs that restore our grasslands and help at-risk grassland birds.

Local populations of species like the eastern meadowlark and bobolink are declining and are now considered provincially at-risk.  There are many reasons for the population declines but the primary threat is the loss and degradation of habitat for breeding.  These species require undisturbed, large open spaces with tall vegetation such as meadows, hay fields and pastures for successful reproduction.   Across eastern North America, farm production is changing as more and more forage land is converted to grain and oilseed crops (e.g., wheat, corn and soybean). Furthermore, marginally productive agricultural lands are being abandoned and the old fields naturally evolve into woodlands. Urban sprawl, pit and quarry creation, and reforestation programs are also decreasing the amount of suitable habitat.

Habitat fragmentation is another leading cause of population decline. Larger tracts of open space greater than ten hecatares in size are preferred for successful reproduction.  Lastly, early and/or frequent cutting of hayfields during the nesting season is regarded as one of the primary threats to the bobolink and eastern meadowlark.

In order to address bobolink and eastern meadowlard population declines within the Credit River watershed, Credit Valley Conservation with financial assistance from the Ministry of Natural Resources Species at Risk Stewardship Fund, has launched a three year Grassland Bird Recovery Program. This program is comprehensive in nature and involves the collection of primary research data, implementation of a native meadow restoration project on public lands and creation of private landowner outreach and education programs aimed at improving the quality and quantity of grassland bird habitat on farm and non-farm rural properties. 

The Grassland Bird Recovery Program is comprised of four subset programs: Grassland Bird Survey, Grassland Restoration at Upper Credit, Bird Friendly Certified Hay Program and Grassland Restoration on Private Lands. 

Bobolink

Grassland Bird Survey

CVC wants volunteers for a breeding bird survey of meadow habitat.

Hay. Photo by Special via Flickr Creative Commons

Bird-Friendly Certified Hay

A marketplace to buy, sell, grow and rent land for bird-friendly certified hay.

Upper Credit Grassland Restoration Site - September 2014

Grassland Restoration at Upper Credit Conservation Area

CVC is naturalizing an old field at Upper Credit Conservation Area.

CVC staff discussing plans to restore an old field at Upper Credit Conservation Area.

Grassland Restoration on Private Lands

Rural landowners can restore and create grasslands on their properties.

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