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Species at Risk

Did you know that Royal Botanical Gardens is home to over 50 different species at risk? We are home to insects, amphibians, reptiles, fish, mammals, birds, and even plants and trees that have been identified as being species in need of protection. A lot of these species were at one time in abundance but due to varying threats like urbanization, habitat loss, encroachment of invasive species, and climate change, have made it to the species at risk list.

The team at RBG is hard at work educating people on threats to these species and what can be done to protect them. One of those species is the Blanding’s turtle which through the help of generous donors, we have been able to rescue hatchlings and send them off to a facility to grow bigger, stronger, and more viable.  Theses hatchlings were released two years later into their habitat on RBG lands with a special tracker glued to the turtle’s shell, so we can continue to track their progress and help protect them.

In our Grasslands Restoration program, exciting work is taking place in our escarpment properties. We recently initiated restoration of 35 hectares of farmland back to a grassland ecosystem. It’s reverting these escarpment lands back to a natural state that will help create a safe habitat for wildlife, pollinators, and species at risk like the Bobolink.

The Bobolink is one of the many birds that depend on native grasslands for breeding. Their populations have been dwindling since the 1980s and none at RBG, but because of this project, four pairs of Bobolinks have already re-established and nested successfully in this new grassland habitat.

  • Red Mulberry leaf variation
  • Biologist holding up an adult Blanding's turtle in their hands. The turtle has his yellow neck stretched out
  • monarch on butterfly milkweed with pods

RBG also monitors and stewards a variety of endangered plants, like the Red Mulberry tree. Did you know that we have some of the last wild trees left in Canada? We are currently in the process of propagating some of these by cuttings. We hope to do more this year, but projects like this take years to accomplish.

And we simply can’t do this work alone. 

All the strides we’ve made so far wouldn’t be possible without your support. A gift from you today will ensure essential conservation programs can continue and provide safe habitats for species at risk.                                                                                       

RBG’s over 1,100 hectares of land is home to three nature sanctuaries: the wetlands of Hendrie Valley, the Escarpment properties, and Cootes Paradise, our largest and most diverse habitat area, wrapping around the tip of Lake Ontario.  It’s vital lands like these that the Blanding’s turtle, the Bobolink and other species at risk need to thrive. We continue to remain committed to conservation projects restoring wetlands, grasslands and forest habitats; restoring natural ecosystems and creating safe habitats for species at risk. 

Support Royal Botanical Gardens

Donate to the ongoing work of protecting species at risk.

If you choose to give $250 or more, we’ll include your name on a special plaque on display in our
Cootes Paradise nature sanctuary at the Sassafras Point Lookout!


Contact Us

If you have questions about RBG’s ‘Species at Risk’ campaign, please send us an email at the form below, or give us a call at 905-527-1158 ext 229 (1-800-694-4769).