Giving Back this Holiday Season

It’s hard to believe, but we are getting in the full swing of the holiday season already! You know what that means — everyone is looking for the perfect gifts for their loved ones. Once again, many will look forward to the abundance of sales on Black Friday and Cyber Monday this weekend. But here…

Raccoon Latrines: Watching Our Wildlife

This summer, University of Guelph summer student, Grace Thornton and PhD candidate, Shannon French began a year-long research project in collaboration with the rare Charitable Research Reserve. The researchers are investigating the role of rodents in the ecology of the raccoon roundworm, Baylisascaris procyonis. Raccoons are the definitive host of the raccoon roundworm. Raccoons typically…

Ask a Researcher: How Can Citizens Help Prevent the Spread of Amphibian Disease?

Amanda Bennett and Matt Keevil have been doing research on two amphibian diseases for the past year. The virus “Ranavirus” causes a hemorrhagic disease in amphibians (think frog Ebola). Frogs will have red patches and bloating under their skin, and may have trouble hopping or swimming. The fungus “Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis” (Bd) causes the disease “chytridiomycosis”…

City Nature Challenge: Finding Nature in Your Neighbourhood

Black-capped Chickadees visiting a backyard feeder, a pair of squirrels chasing one another around a tree, butterflies collecting nectar from a field of wildflowers; there is nature all around us — even in our cities! This year, the rare Charitable Research Reserve is teaming up with partners across Waterloo Region to compete against more than…

You’re Invited!

Heather Cray is a PhD candidate at the University of Waterloo in the Department of Environment and Resource Studies, a restoration ecologist and a volunteer with rare. My name is Heather, and I’d like to invite you to this year’s Walk & Run for rare! I have been a team captain for this event the…

Microfibres – how we’re eating our laundry

I have been working at rare for several months now, as the Heritage Landscapes Intern, assisting in the gardens, growing and harvesting pounds of food for local food banks. I have had the pleasure of meeting some amazing people from these groups and more, all sharing a connection to the land and its conservation. Our…

rare Species Spotlight: Red-headed woodpecker

For the amateur birdwatcher, few species are as easily identified as the Red-headed woodpecker.  With its striking red head, and distinct white sections, it is unmistakable for any other species.  Once very common, the Red-headed woodpecker is now identified as a species of special concern in Ontario, meaning they are at risk of becoming endangered…

Reconnecting with Nature

Technology has become the cornerstone of modern society. Since the 1950s we’ve seen an explosion of accessible consumer technology, from TV to video games and eventually computers. In the 1990s the internet really took hold, revolutionizing technological innovation over the next 20 years. Now, every home is equipped with a TV, computer, smartphone and internet…

Researcher’s Log: Waking up with Song Sparrows

On a beautiful Tuesday morning in April, I got up early and headed to rare to join PhD student Leanne Grieves for a fruitful morning of field work.  Leanne is studying Song Sparrows, Melospiza melodia, at the University of Western Ontario under the supervision of Dr. Beth MacDougall-Shackleton. Her research examines the relationship between haematozoan…

Home Grown Food: How to benefit yourself and your community

Home Grown Food: How to benefit yourself and your community Growing fruits and vegetables is a rewarding way to make healthy improvements to your life, the environment and your community. When you grow your food using organic practices, and forego chemical fertilizers and pesticides, you’ll contribute to healthier soil and water in your neighbourhood.   You’ll…