Wildlife Preservation Canada has been an important part of my life since I was chosen as Canada’s New Noah in 1997. Training at the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust in the UK was a life changing experience. My family and I recently returned (in 2016) from a seven-year adventure in Madagascar where I managed conservation projects for Durrell, and I have had the pleasure of being on Wildlife Preservation Canada’s Board of Directors. Since that first opportunity as a New Noah 20 years ago, I’ve helped a wide range of conservation projects around the world and I can tell you that Wildlife Preservation Canada’s present work is absolutely world class. It is pioneering, it is innovative, it is based on a clear vision, and it is making a difference.
Now things have taken an even more exciting turn personally as I have recently stepped in to manage our species recovery projects while our Conservation Programs Director, Jessica Steiner, is on maternity leave. Congratulations Jessica!
The opportunity has already provided me with an increased appreciation for the scope of Wildlife Preservation Canada’s conservation programs across the country and for the level of commitment that our field and administration staff put into their daily work to ensure these programs are a success. I’ve begun working closely with project leaders and have already been able to visit many of our field sites. Listening to the field teams as they passionately relate the steps being taken to save ‘their’ species’ has been inspiring.
For me, nothing compares to personal encounters with animals. During recent site visits I’ve been surrounded by baby massasauga rattlesnakes that our team had relocated to ideal habitat, nestled into sunlit patches within the forest, and I’ve watched bumble bees coming and going industriously from a nest box that our pollinator team had provided for them. I can’t imagine how empty Canada would be without these animals. I am very much looking forward to visiting our other projects over the next year and working alongside our great team of dedicated conservation biologists.
You’ll notice that our newsletter has a new format and I think it will better provide all of you with the same increased appreciation for the scope and success of Wildlife Preservation Canada’s conservation work. This past field season has been one of the most successful we have ever had, across all our projects. I hope you will enjoy reading about the people leading our conservation efforts, and the animals that we are working so hard to save from extinction. I do want to take this moment to thank you, and with your support our teams will continue to build on this fantastic year and make sure that these animals remain part of Canada’s exceptional wild landscape.
Lance Woolaver, PhD
Conservation Programs Director (Interim)