The Gleaner
Environment

Autumn grain fields can provide habitats for endangered birds

The Montérégie UPA has been given $203,000 through the Faune en danger program of the Fondation de la faune du Québec. With this money, it will launch the Autumn grain fields as potential habitat for endangered field birds project. The Faune en danger program promotes the recovery of populations of endangered wildlife species in Quebec, and finances over 700 projects in the province.

The main goal of the project is to confirm that certain birds also nest in the autumn cereal fields. These forage crops provide perfect habitats for bobolinks, eastern meadowlarks, and grasshopper buntings. As part of the project, 18 farms will be visited by QuébecOiseaux, Connexion Nature, Société d’aménagement de la Baie Lavallière, Granby Zoo and Club d’Ornithologie de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, who are the project’s partners.

Maxime Brien, program director at the Fondation de la faune du Québec, says, “We’re delighted that the Fédération de l’UPA de la Montérégie is carrying out this project, and we’re convinced that it will have a positive impact on farmland birds. The adoption of sustainable agricultural practices contributes to the harmonious cohabitation of agricultural and wildlife uses.”

 

The Eastern meadowlark is one of the endangered field birds to benefit from the partnership between the Montérégie UPA and Fondation de la faune du Québec PHOTO Jacques Mongeau

 

Julien Pagé, 1st vice-president of the Fédération de l’UPA de la Montérégie, adds that “In addition to providing interesting agronomic benefits, fall cereals can potentially represent a favourable habitat for field birds. It’s a win-win situation for the whole community.  Together, we’re shaping a future where sustainable agriculture, improved biodiversity, and the conservation of endangered species go hand-in-hand.”

The project is part of the second phase of the project Mobilizing the Montérégie farming community to conserve species at risk and their habitats, which is funded by Environment and Climate Change Canada. This larger project will document three different species in autumn grain fields.

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