Since 1993, the Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation (AIWC) has been a champion for the rehabilitation of injured and orphaned wildlife. Accredited through the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association, AIWC serves the needs of Alberta’s diverse wildlife in Calgary and southern Alberta. As a registered charity, AIWC relies on charitable donations and dedicated volunteers to support the more than 1,600 varied animals in need of care every year. AIWC welcomes Alberta’s injured, orphaned, and oiled wildlife, small and large, from hummingbirds to moose calves.
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 waterfowl pen, a shorebird enclosure, and four mammal enclosures.
Our small team of wildlife biologists and technicians receive critical assistance from volunteer veterinarians. More than 130 highly trained volunteers provide rehabilitative animal care and support the release of our patients back into the wild.
We believe in cultivating strong co-existence between Albertans and wildlife animals.
95% of animals are injured or orphaned due to human activities. The most common causes of injury are window strikes, vehicle collision, hitting power lines, barbed wire, fishing line entanglement or ingestion, domestic cat and dog attacks, and exposure to toxins. Often wildlife is orphaned by needless rescuing of babies who should have been left where they were.
Each year, the demand for our services increases. In 2015, AIWC:
• Treated 1,675 wild animals and helped hundreds more by assisting members of the public with wildlife-related issues, educating Albertans about natural wildlife behaviours and how best to live alongside our wildlife; and
• Answered more than 5,000 wildlife related calls, providing assistance and information to support the wellbeing, and, in some cases, the survival of animals.
WHAT WE BELIEVE
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:
• Appreciate and co-exist with nature and wildlife
• Be mindful of their surroundings and foster safe spaces for wildlife to graze, breed and thrive
• Encourage interconnectedness with nature
• Understand the issue affecting Alberta’s conservation initiatives
We believe in developing awareness through education.
Through outreach programming, we’re working to creating strong co-existence between Albertans and wildlife animals. In 2015, our animal ambassadors provided wildlife education to more than 3,800 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
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