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Bird Ecology and Conservation Ontario is a Toronto-based non-profit organization that was formed in 2013.
Our research is focused on songbirds in southern Ontario.

Current programs

Birds at risk in agricultural landscapes
Little of the native grassland that once occurred sporadically in southern Ontario remains today. Agriculture now covers much of the region and hayfields and pastures provide most of the habitat for grassland birds. Since 1970, populations of grassland birds, such as the Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark, have declined substantially in Ontario for various reasons, including changes in the agricultural industry.

Our main goals are to fill knowledge gaps and identify strategies to support grassland bird conservation on public and private land. Because most breeding habitat for grassland birds occurs on farmland, we are working with the agricultural community to engage farmers in conservation science and identify strategies that can be integrated into agricultural production.

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 in different geographic regions, and if the species is reproducing well enough to maintain their population. Effective conservation cannot occur without filling these knowledge gaps.

We 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 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.

Field research

Each spring and summer, we head to the field to gather data on birds at risk in Ontario. With footage from our recent bobolink research, this mini video clip provides a brief glimpse of our on-the-ground research activities.

Video by Gerald Morris.

BECO's 5-year reports

2019 – 2023
A 5-year retrospective

2013 – 2018
A 5-year retrospective

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