Community Stories

Manitoba Burrowing Owl Recovery Program


The Manitoba Burrowing Owl Recovery Program (MBORP) was established in 2013 to engage private landowners in grassland conservation through agricultural best management practices (BMP), bird-friendly initiatives (BFI), and habitat enhancement. Each breeding season, the program reintroduces eight to ten breeding pairs in southwestern Manitoba on private land. To ensure a successful transition into the wild, pairs and young are monitored throughout the season. Adults and some young are allowed to migrate, while the remaining young are held over winter and become breeding and release pairs for the next season. In the last 50 years, several factors affect their survival and successful return to the Canadian prairies, such as loss of habitat. The program has been working mainly with cattle farmers to engage them in species-at-risk and grassland conservation by installing artificial nest burrows and discussing habitat needs of burrowing owls. Landowners are encouraged to participate in annual surveys on their land for burrowing owls and check artificial nest burrows for activity and availability (i.e. entrance is open and clear of debris). Many improvements to habitat for burrowing owls also positively affect other grassland bird species that thrive in this unique environment. Through the Richardson Foundation, Tundra Oil & Gas Limited is proud to support this program with multiyear donations.