Learn About Local Biodiversity at RRCA's 3 Conservation Areas 

September 24, 2021

Jamie Would, RRCA Stewardship and Outreach Assistant, using the Seek app to identify catnip at Gray's Creek Conservation Area in South Glengarry.

Stepping into nature at the Raisin Region Conservation Authority (RRCA)’s 3 Conservation Areas now has the potential to turn visitors into seasoned citizen biologists. By using the powerful Seek mobile app by iNaturalist, visitors can now instantly identify the plant and animal species they come across while hiking the RRCA’s 25 kilometres of nature trails found at Gray’s Creek, Cooper Marsh, and Charlottenburgh Park Conservation Areas. 

“Most of us can remember a ‘What is that?’ encounter with an unusual-looking plant or animal species which left us curious to identify and learn more about it,” says Jamie Would, RRCA’s Stewardship and Outreach Assistant. “Naming and classifying the natural world around us is part of what makes us human. Now, this curiosity can be instantly satisfied with a simple snap from your smartphone.”      

Would encourages everyone to give the Seek app a try the next time they visit a Conservation Area. “It’s easy to get engrossed by it. You just point your phone at a plant or animal and are instantly provided with its identification as well as additional information. It makes you want to keep identifying one species after another, while realizing how many different species live in the area.”  

All three RRCA Conservation Areas now have an official project page on the iNaturalist website. When a species is identified through the app, users have the option to instantly post their observation online. This results in an ongoing bio-survey freely accessible to anyone. The RRCA’s iNaturalist pages, as well as a link to download the free Seek app, can be found at the RRCA’s website at rrca.on.ca. 

“The Conservation Areas’ iNaturalist projects are a great tool for visitors trying to find the best spots to find certain species”, Would says. “It also provides valuable data to RRCA staff and other scientists working to monitor biodiversity within the Conservation Areas.” 

For more information, including directions to the RRCA’s Conservation Areas, please visit rrca.on.ca or contact (613) 938-3611 or info@rrca.on.ca.