A California farmer is recognized for helping out an endangered species. Sabrina Hill has the story.
Central California dairy farmer and president of Western United Dairymen, Frank Mendonsa, recently accepted a special recognition from the Audubon Society for his part in protecting two colonies of the tricolored blackbird found on his Tulare County dairy farm.
The species is now emergency listed as a California endangered species and also protected under the provisions of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. Since April, Mendonsa’s silage fields have been a temporary nesting habitat for the colonies of nearly 15,000 birds and Mendonsa is delaying harvest to help the birds safely fledge their young.
Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Assistant State Conservationalist for Programs, Allan Forkey, explains the NRCS and Audubon California have helped farmers who have tricolored blackbirds nesting in their fields by providing incentive payments to delay harvest until the young birds have fledged.
Over the past three years, farmers’ participation in this initiative has resulted in nesting success for tens of thousands of birds.