Grasslands mitigate the effects of climate change while also providing habitat for species at risk, improving pollinator health, and supporting biodiversity.
Grasslands provide habitat for species at risk
As grassland habitats disappear due to land conversion, so do the species that rely upon these ecosystems for their survival. In fact, some of Ontario’s grassland species are listed as Species at Risk, with grassland bird populations in particular experiencing a sharp decline over the past decade.
Grasslands support biodiversity
Of all the ecological services provided by grasslands, biological diversity is the most paramount. A range of species depend on the habitat, shelter, food, nesting opportunities, migration stopover areas, and winter cover found in grassland ecosystems.
Grasslands foster pollinator health
Pollinator species such as bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds depend upon a steady supply of pollen and nectar. Grassland plants provide these food sources, in addition to shelter and nesting habitat.
Problems Facing Ontario's Grasslands
Who We Are
Grasslands Ontario, a division of not-for-profit organization Forests Ontario, provides awareness and support towards creation, enhancement, and maintenance of grassland habitat.
The creation of a minimum of 4 hectares with a minimum width of 200 meters by planting, seeding or restoring land that currently has no or little value to habit development.
Where good or moderate quality grassland habitat exists, and active management is undertaken every 4 years or less to improve grassland habitat quality.
Where suitable high-quality grassland habitat exists and activities such as grazing, harvesting, burning or cutting are managed to benefit grassland birds.
Hazel Bird Nature Reserve Enhancement
The Hazel Bird Nature Reserve, a national nature destination, has been the site of ongoing grasslands restoration. Working with Grasslands Ontario, The Nature Conservancy of Canada is continuing this work, ensuring a minimum of 11 hectares of enhanced grassland habitat for birds.Learn More
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