What is a farmer citizen science project, and why is GrassLander important?

There’s been a marked decline in Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark populations over the last decade. With an average annual population loss of four percent per year, Ontario has seen a cumulative loss of 33 percent over the past 30 years. As of 2010, the Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark are listed as a species at risk in Ontario.

As scientists monitor these declining populations, they’re turning to citizen science to provide observational data at local scales. Because these two grassland bird species are found on farms across Ontario, farmers have a unique opportunity to support the science that informs conservation of these at-risk species. Bird sightings on-farm and information on field management practices collected through GrassLander can provide local, on the ground insights into these declining populations and potentially reveal specific actions for their conservation.