2020 was a year of us will forget. Here at Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (AIWC), we cared for a record 2,064 animals, which is an increase of 30% from 2019. Patients included bear cubs, moose calves, deer fawns, owls, songbirds, and other representatives of Alberta’s wildlife.
Two of those patients are fondly referred to as “the twins”. Too young to survive on their own, the moose twins were brought to AIWC in May 2020 after their mother was hit and killed by a car. In the spring of 2021, when old enough to fend for themselves, we will release them back to the wild. With your generous support, we can continue to rescue, rehabilitate and release orphaned and injured wildlife, like these twins and so many others, to their natural habitat.
95% of the animals admitted to AIWC are here as a result of conflict with humans in some way, such as window strikes, vehicular collisions, and domestic cat and dog attacks. With urban expansion, the demand for our animal care service continues to rise. Moreover, our Wildlife Hotline, which is a service that addresses the public’s wildlife questions, received over 1,000 more calls than in 2019, for a total of 6,682 calls.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, our Wildlife Education team has pivoted to provide more wildlife education online. Part of our mission is to encourage a strong co-existence between Albertans and wildlife, through whatever means we can, but it has required additional resources.
Thank you for your support of Alberta’s wildlife – as human and wildlife encounters rise, they need you now more than ever.
Since 1993, Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (AIWC) has been a champion for injured and orphaned wildlife through rescue, rehabilitation and release. Since our founding, we have admitted more than 32,000 animals into care. We believe our responsibility to wildlife includes an educational component that emphasizes the importance of environmental protection, and as such, AIWC offers engaging public education programs to inform all ages of the importance of wildlife to our ecosystem and way of life.
As a trusted Canadian-registered charity, we are permitted by federal and provincial governments to care for wildlife in need. In addition, we are an accredited veterinary hospital through the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, which allows us to provide high standards of care to our wildlife patients. We are funded entirely by donations.
AIWC is open year-round to care for wildlife in need. Our mission is supported by six full-time staff, part-time staff, an incredible team of 125+ volunteers, and over 250 active memberships. Spring and summer are the busiest seasons for animal care.
Preserving the legacy of wildlife.
AIWC is committed to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of injured and orphaned wildlife. We provide expert advice and education that fosters an appreciation of wildlife.
Wildlife Rehabilitation and Rescue:
Our wildlife hospital, once a church in Didsbury, Alberta, is now a clinic with a surgical suite, laboratory, x-ray room, and various care units. Outdoor enclosures support the rehabilitative cycle and include two large flight-conditioning spaces for raptors, five songbird enclosures, a pasture and corral for young deer and moose, a shorebird enclosure, aquatic bird building, outdoor aquatic mammal enclosure, two outdoor waterfowl enclosures, two aerial insectivore enclosures, and four mammal enclosures.
Primarily, animals are rescued by our team of trained volunteers or by members of the public and then admitted to our centre. AIWC is an accredited vet hospital through the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) and upon arrival animals are left to rest for a short time and then are fully examined my members of staff.
All wildlife rehabilitation is performed on site at our 9.69-acre property NW of Airdrie. We are permitted through the provincial and federal governments to intake and care for wildlife. Wildlife rehabilitation is a relatively new field of animal care, becoming more prominent in the past 20-30 years. As such, we are constantly striving to improve protocols and methods of rehabilitation. Staff attend workshops, conferences, and collaborate with other wildlife rehabilitation centres across the world in order to ensure we are providing the best care possible to the animals entrusted into our care.
Wildlife Education Program:
We have a shared responsibility to wildlife.
For as long as there have been people, there have been dangers to our wildlife. Each Albertan, young and old, plays an important role in the proactive understanding and reactive care of our wildlife. Each one of us has a responsibility to do something to support our wildlife population.
We will continue to advocate for the health of our wildlife.
Our primary mandate will always be to provide support and readiness to injured, orphaned or oiled wildlife animals. We believe in a community approach to taking the best care possible to animals that live and play in the same places we do.
We believe every Albertan should be a stakeholder in the care of wellbeing of our wildlife animals.
To ensure future generations of Albertans can enjoy our wildlife landscape, we encourage Albertans to:
Caring isn’t enough. We must take action.
Every animal is deserving of the beauty Alberta has to offer, and this includes a safe, open environment free of human hazards. And we, as Albertans, have a responsibility to foster these opportunities through awareness and participation in conservation-minded conversation and actions. Our wildlife should be a continued source of pride for all Albertans.
We believe in developing awareness through education.
Through outreach programming, we’re working to creating strong co-existence between Albertans and wildlife animals. In 2020, our education team provided wildlife education to more than 3,000 members of the public.
We want children to build a strong relationship with nature.
Our actions impact the environment and its wildlife. We encourage children to respect the environment around them by inspiring a passion for conservation and sustainability. We know that children and youth who develop an early understanding of their relationship with nature and wildlife become life-long advocates for wildlife, champions for the care, protection and health of wild animals.
We are advocates for encouraging environmental stewardship in the next generation.
By educating children about nature and environmental awareness, we are informing Albertans of how their actions impact the environment and to think on a larger, provincial scale.
It all comes down to this:
“We don’t own the earth. We are the earth’s caretakers. We take care of it and all the things on it. And when we’re done with it, it should be left better than we found it.” ― Katherine Hannigan, author
A gift to AIWC provides injured and orphaned Alberta wildlife a chance to be rescued, rehabilitated, and released back into the wild. As we are funded entirely by donations, each gift from our generous donors gives wildlife a chance to survive and thrive in the wild.
With a donation today, you will join other supporters who believe that wildlife is critical to our survival and the health of our environment. Our supporters believe we have the responsibility to help wildlife, as 95% of animals admitted to AIWC are injured or orphaned due to human activities.
If you choose to give monthly, your gift will make a bigger impact on wildlife that needs it the most. You’ll rest assured that your gift will provide ongoing daily care for injured and orphaned wildlife.
Volunteer: AIWC depends on an army of dedicated and passionate volunteers to assist the staff members with the operation of our wildlife hospital. Volunteering is a truly rewarding experience, and even tasks such as floor-mopping are more enjoyable when you know you’re helping wildlife and are surrounded by such magnificent creatures.
Help is needed in various roles and at various times of year. Spring and summer are our “peak” seasons, however, we rely heavily on 100+ active volunteers year round to keep our centre operating. Visit AIWC: Volunteer for more information on volunteering at our centre.