Ontario’s Endangered Species Act is well-intentioned but needs some fine tuning, according to separate reports and statements from the Ontario Federation of Agriculture and the George Morris Centre.

The federation is particularly concerned that the bobolink is now considered threatened in Ontario. The bird likes to nest in long grass but will gravitate to hay when long grass is unavailable, making it a problem for farmers who unwittingly give it a home. The federation wants urban Ontario to play more of a role in species preservation by providing habitat (such as long grass).

For its part, the centre says moral issues aside, economic incentives are lacking for landowners and farmers to provide habitat for these species. Society has to pay for land taken out of production for species preservation, and centre says the current compensation amount and system is inadequate.

I cover the topic in today’s Urban Cowboy column in the Guelph Mercury.

The photo below of a female bobolink is from Seabrooke Leckie’s superb eastern Ontario nature photo blog, The Marvelous in Nature.

Female bobolink (photo by Seabrooke Leckie)