Calgary, AB – Calgary Zoo and Pembina Pipeline Corporation announced earlier today that they have partnered to protect wildlife and wild places.
Pembina’s founding sponsorship of the Calgary Zoo includes a $250,000 investment over a 5-year period dedicated to construction and operational expenses of greater sage-grouse flight pens or burrowing owl facilities at the Calgary Zoo’s new Wildlife Conservation Centre being constructed outside of metro Calgary.
“At Pembina we strive to have a net positive impact in our communities and invest in initiatives aimed at fostering environmental conservation,” says Wendy Ross, Senior Manager of Environment at Pembina Pipeline Corporation. “We are excited to partner with the Calgary Zoo and support their programs to restore and protect these endangered species.”
“The generous support and leadership from Pembina Pipeline Corporation for our greater sage-grouse and burrowing owl programs will help restore these endangered species to ecosystems where they are disappearing”, said Calgary Zoo President & CEO Dr. Clement Lanthier. “This will have positive benefits for ecosystems and for people”.
Conservation Project updates:
Greater sage-grouse: The Calgary Zoo is leading Canada’s only reintroduction breeding program for greater sage-grouse, one of Canada’s most endangered birds; preserving the unique genetics of the species and releasing birds to increase the wild population. The first successful breeding took place in 2017 and the Calgary Zoo and partners are currently preparing for fall releases in October 2019. Protecting greater sage-grouse helps save other species that also rely on sagebrush habitat. This summer, volunteers from Pembina spent a day collecting sage for the birds living in the Synder-Wilson Family Greater Sage-Grouse Pavilion at the Devonian Wildlife Conservation Centre.
Burrowing owls – In 2016, the Calgary Zoo launched an innovative project to boost wild burrowing owl populations using a technique called head-starting. In this initiative, young owls are brought into captivity until they are old enough to have a better chance of surviving before they are released into the wild. These owls are an indicator species, which means they reflect the health of the grasslands they call home. The Calgary Zoo is hard at work to understand the challenges these endangered owls face and restore the population in the Canadian prairies.
The Calgary Zoo’s greater sage-grouse program is supported by and in partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service and Alberta Environment and Parks, and in partnership with Nature Conservancy of Canada and Parks Canada.
The Calgary Zoo’s burrowing owl program is in partnership with Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canadian Wildlife Service, and Alberta Environment and Parks.
About the Calgary Zoo: The Calgary Zoo is a globally recognized conservation organization that guides, innovates, and applies scientific solutions to restore some of the world’s most endangered species. Locally and globally we take action in the wild every day to yield powerful benefits for nature and for people. Our over 1,000 employees and volunteers are passionate about inspiring people to take action to sustain wildlife and wild places, welcoming over 1.3 million guests annually. As visitors discover the rare and endangered species that we love and care for at our facilities, they are directly contributing through admission and on-grounds sales to a not-for-profit charitable conservation organization that works to fight extinction of plants and animals worldwide.