Bird Ecology and Conservation Ontario is a Toronto-based non-profit organization that was formed in 2013.
Our research is focused on bird species found in southern and central Ontario.
Current research programs:
(1) Birds at risk in agricultural landscapes
Very little of the native grassland that once occurred in southern Ontario remains today. Agriculture now covers much of the region and provides most of the habitat for grassland birds. Since 1970, grassland bird populations have declined substantially in southern Ontario. A key challenge for grassland bird conservation is the integration of ecological research (to identify the habitat needs of these species) with agricultural research and farmers’ needs.
Our goal is to create a long-term program focused on research to learn about the needs of birds occurring in agricultural landscapes and to provide information for the development of best management practices for bird conservation that can be integrated into agricultural production.
(2) Distribution, abundance, and productivity of birds at risk
For many species at risk, there are knowledge gaps about where their habitat occurs, the number of individuals that occur within different geographic regions, and if the species is reproducing well enough to maintain their population. Effective conservation cannot occur without filling these knowledge gaps.
Our goal is to use field research and statistical analyses, such as species distribution modeling, to provide the information necessary for understanding the conservation status of species at risk, and for planning and prioritizing conservation actions. This kind of information provides baseline data that is crucial for planning long-term monitoring programs, helping to determine where conservation actions may be most useful, and planning what the target environmental conditions are for habitat management.