RESTORATION OF GRASSLAND BIRD HABITAT IN THE MIXED GRASS PRAIRIE MANITOBA
This is a multi-year Habitat Stewardship Program Species at Risk project with a primarily focus on habitat improvement of grassland bird habitat in southwestern Manitoba. The project will commence in April of 2019 within the Mixed-Grass Prairie Manitoba (Prairie Region) level 1 priority place. There are four species at risk that will be targeted for this project: Chestnut- collared Longspur (Calcarius ornatus), Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), Bairds Sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii), and Spragues’s Pipit (Anthus spragueii). One threat facing these species is the encroachment of wood vegetation specifically Western Snowberry (Symphoricarpos occidentalis) which degrades their nesting habitat. The project activities will include selecting sites totaling 130 hectares of native prairie that are currently grazed by livestock throughout the study area. The Western Snowberry will be treated using a shrub mower or herbicide treatment during the month of August in 2019, 2020 and 2021. The mechanical and herbicide treatment will reduce the density and canopy of the Western Snowberry and will directly improve the habitat of the species at risk and increase the density of native grasses and plants.