OSCIA releases Ontario Grassland Guild video after successful symposium
On March 30, 2016, OSCIA hosted the Grassland Guild, a symposium for grassland bird conservation, with financial support from Environment Canada. Held at the Ignatius Jesuit Centre in Guelph, and building on the success of last year, the full day event brought together farmers, researchers, government scientists and conservation specialists to look at the issues facing grassland birds in Ontario.
The event was well attended with over 40 participants. Presentations on various grassland bird projects and research were made, and a professionally facilitated discussion collected the group’s insights, concerns and top priorities on the subject of grassland bird conservation. Discussion was enthusiastic and honest, and contributions from participants were greatly valued.
With grassland birds declining provincially, agricultural grasslands like pastures, hayfields, and old fields help to offset the habitat declines of native grasslands. Farm fields provide important habitat for birds that rely on grasslands including Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark and Barn Swallows, among others.
At the event, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry outlined the Government Response Statement for Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark. The ministry is looking to slow population declines over the short term by enhancing, improving and maintaining grassland habitat, as well as looking at stabilizing the population levels for Bobolink and other grassland birds as part of a longer-term initiative.
For more information about the Grassland Guild, or to join the mailing list, please contact the Grassland Guild Committee.