Starting today, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo’s newest conservation facility, the Archibald Biodiversity Centre (ABC), is home to iconic species-at-risk. The ABC is a state-of-the-art breeding centre, sitting on 330 acres in the Albertan prairies designed as a temporary home for species-at-risk such as the greater sage-grouse, Vancouver Island marmots, burrowing owls, whooping crane, before they are released into the wild. The ABC also has permanent residents such as the endangered Przewalski’s horse, a herd which contributes to the global Species Survival Plan.
Unique species deserve a unique home
The ABC will replace the current conservation facility, which is increasingly pressured by urban development. The remote location of the ABC provides the level of seclusion necessary to help keep the animals in their natural state. This is an essential factor that ensures the animals have the foundational skills they need to survive in the wild upon their release.
“This has been a dream in the making for 40 years, and we’re excited to give these endangered species an upgraded temporary home while we plan for their successful futures in the wild,” said Dr. Clément Lanthier, President & CEO at the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo. “We are incredibly grateful to Don Archibald, the Calgary Foundation, and our Founder’s Circle, a group of like-minded philanthropists and sponsors, for giving these species a one of-a-kind gift.”
This facility will allow the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo to expand their conservation programs and provide the space for conservation breeding, research, and allow for an exceptional standard of animal care. This new space features improved animal habitats for the species-at-risk being cared for, expanded and purpose-built paddocks, pastures and shelters for hoofstock, accommodations for resident animal care staff, as well as a fully equipped veterinary clinic.
A stronghold for biodiversity
The opening of the ABC marks a big milestone for threatened and at-risk species in critical danger of extinction. The facility offers an area where the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo can prevent the further loss of biodiversity.
“Projects like the ABC are fundamental for the journey of saving species-at-risk,” said Don Archibald, member of the ABC Founder’s Circle. “I believe that this facility will set a tremendous example of the importance of investing in biodiversity for our province and our country. Supporting this project was not only an opportunity to create a lasting conservation legacy. It provided a special connection to nature that my family and I can share forever, and I hope the ABC will empower others to do the same.”
As the ABC will border Siksika Nation, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo recently signed a historic partnership committing to developing a respectful, strong, and equitable relationship, supporting reconciliation, and creating opportunities for the Siksika people.
The Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo’s ABC will bolster Canada’s reputation as international experts in conservation breeding and reintroductions. The knowledge and techniques developed at the ABC will be shared around the world to aid in at-risk species recovery globally.
To learn more about the ABC and how you can take action for saving species-at-risk, visit www.WilderInstitute.org/Archibald-Biodiversity-Centre