The Algonquin Wildlife Research Station


A Tradition of Study



PRACTICALLY UNKNOWN

   Not open to tourists , the Algonquin Wildlife Research Station is perhaps completely unknown to the casual camper . Yet , for over half a century this facility has been a hive of intensely focused activity , 24 hours a day , 7 days a week . In an effort to understand , students and mentors will go without proper sleep for weeks on end , grabing snacks & sandwiches , trying to stay hydrated , primarily focused on one thing... acute observation !


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PLAQUE AT ENTRANCE BY THE LAKE AWRS LAB


WORLD FAMOUS

   World famous ... locally obscure . Familiar saying that tends to be true in many cases . In the case of the AWRS (Algonquin Wildlife Research Station) the obscurity tends to serve a purpose . If the idea is to quietly observe (see page 1) then the students and colleagues of the AWRS may perhaps be one of the best active examples of that concept . Quietly observing , accurately recording , dilgently sharing that information with the entire global community .

THE SCIENCE OF THE WILD

    These devoted scientists are able to quietly work away within undisturbed environments , gathering information in the field that will be transposed and distributed within the scientific community .

   Campers who may be observant enough to notice others in the act of information gathering , that have the desire to understand and also have the ability to politely approach , may get the opportunity to learn many little known facts about Algonquin and her vast stretching web of life .

FORTUNATE ENCOUNTER

   Being in the right place at the right time is much a part of the deeper and more rewarding experiences one can have in Algonquin . Certainly luck does have a lot to do with it sometimes , but then again , simply spending a lot of time outside of the campground is the real secret .


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GILLIAN AT WHITEFISH SAND AREA


   Above we see Gillian Humphries doing her thing ... research ! The year is 2007 and by this time in June , Gillian has captured and released dozens of Snapping Turtles and Painted Turtles , dug up dozens of nests in order to count and weigh the eggs , take temperatures , and various other forms of data capturing required for accurate nesting records .

   I have a rough idea of what Gill is doing simply because she has been kind enough to allow me to photograph and watch her work , asking questions as I snap away . Interesting perhaps , is how I came to know Gillian and how I became so interested in the work that she and her fellow researchers were doing here in Algonquin Park .

ONE JUNE DAY ...

   One June day I was lucky enough to meet a student on the 'Old Railway Bike Trail' while I was admiring a particularily large mound of black bear droppings . After we chatted about the park for some time , Meagan ( I introduced myself before she rode away ) headed off towards Pog Lake to research the Painted and Snapping Turtle's nesting activities , which I found totally interesting , strickly from a lay person's perspective .

PROFESSOR BROOKS

   Late that afternoon I met Professor Ronald Brooks at the wooden bridge of Whitefish Lake as he was returning several 'Painted's' back to where he had captured them earlier that morning . This was a wonderful opportunity to photograph a rare Algonquin event and Professor Brooks was very accomodating , providing me with several great shots of his work in the field .


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PROFESSOR RON BROOKS WORKING IN THE FIELD


   Not only was this a rare photo opportunity but was also a great learning experience . Professor Brooks provided in depth information about many facets of Algonquin wildlife as well as personal experiences and encounters . When I mentioned a desire to someday perhaps , create a web site about the Park , he suggested I visit the AWRS in order to get a better understanding of the kinds of studies that were being conducted .

   Upon his invitation I did , of course , and in the process learned much about the Research Station as well as what kinds of studies were taking place throughout the Park. I also learned from his students that Professor Brooks was a world leading expert on turtles , and had been involved in and conducting studies for over 35 years now . No wonder he was able to enlighten me on so many of Algonquin's wildlife facts and mysteries .

PICTURES AND VIDEO

   Professor Brooks also showed me his Ultra-Zoom digital camera and that it was capable of shooting both digital stills and video . I was so impressed that I had my own in just a few short days . The scope and quality of this entire web site has been made possible largely because of that one chance meeting and the sharing of very interesting and pertinent information in the years to follow (thanks Ron & Gillian) .

   Below are more pictures and VIDEOS taken during that June of 2006 .


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TAGGED PAINTED TURTLE EGGS JUNE NESTING


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TAGGED PAINTED NESTING VIDEO PROF BROOKS VIDEO



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A TURTLE SCIENTIST'S EVER PRESENT LOGBOOK


 PAGE 4  

  Amazing Algonquin Weather  
  The June/06 Hail Storm  !