GUELPH, Ont. (July 18, 2017)

Three aspiring young Canadian biologists – Alisa Samuelson of Calgary, Alberta; Hayley Tompkins of Hamilton, Ontario; and Tegan Gallilee-Lang of Coquitlam British Columbia  – have been named as LoyaltyOne Young Conservation Leaders for 2017.

This new leadership development program, sponsored by LoyaltyOne, is designed to help young adults seeking to launch a career in the field of wildlife conservation by providing paid job experience in innovative conservation projects.  Each of the Young Conservation Leaders are placed under a mentor within projects operated by Wildlife Preservation Canada, a national charity which specializes in hands-on work with endangered animal species.

In addition to working directly with endangered species, the Young Conservation Leaders will also gain experience in other areas such as planning fieldwork, conducting scientific research, training and supervising volunteers or other employees, and public presentations.

Alisa Samuelson holds a BS in Ecology from the University of Guelph as well as an MSc in Environmental Practice from Royal Roads University.  She will be surveying for endangered eastern loggerhead shrikes on the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island during the first part of the season, then raising captive bred juvenile shrikes for release to the wild on the Carden plain later this summer, as part of Wildlife Preservation Canada’s efforts to boost the wild population.

Hayley Tompkins holds a BS in Geography with a minor in GIS and Environmental Analysis from the University of Guelph, and is also a graduate of Seneca College’s Environmental Technician – Sampling and Monitoring program.  She is working as a field biologist in Wildlife Preservation Canada’s Native Pollinator Initiative, collecting bumble bee queens for conservation breeding, conducting field surveys and research, and participating in public outreach throughout southern Ontario.

Tegan Gallilee-Lang is working on her BSc in Environmental Science with a concentration in Applied Biology at Simon Fraser University.  She will be helping to breed, rear, and release critically-endangered Oregon spotted frogs and locally-endangered western painted turtles in Wildlife Preservation Canada’s Fraser Valley Wetlands Wildlife program.

“The LoyaltyOne Young Conservation Leaders  program is targeted at a critical area of need, both for young Canadian scientists and our natural ecosystems,” says Randal Heide, Executive Director of Wildlife Preservation Canada.  “The number of species at risk in Canada is growing every year, as is young Canadians’ interest in wildlife conservation as a career.  But funding isn’t keeping pace with the need, so good jobs in the sector are still scarce.   Landing the first paid job can be especially tough for recent graduates.  The LoyaltyOne Young Conservation Leaders will make a quantifiable conservation impact this year, and will be well prepared to move on to more senior roles in the future.”

“LoyaltyOne is committed to empowering Canada’s youth through our Youth Empowerment Program.  Focused on four pillars: Basic Needs, Education, Employment and Leadership, our goal is to impact 100,000 youth in Canada by 2020,” explains Gaby Polanco-Sorto, Associate Director of Corporate Responsibility.   “LoyaltyOne has a long history of environmental sustainability, and the Young Conservation Leaders program is designed to serve as a springboard to a career in wildlife conservation leadership for promising young Canadian scientists.”

About Wildlife Preservation Canada

Established in 1985, Wildlife Preservation Canada is a national charity devoted to saving endangered animal species facing imminent extinction in Canada – species whose numbers in the wild are so low that habitat protection alone is not enough.   It is currently providing expert hands-on care to several reptile, amphibian, bird, and insect species in projects ranging from the St. Lawrence/Great Lakes region to Vancouver Island, making it the only organization in Canada to perform such work in multiple species recovery efforts across the country. For more information, please visit https://wildlifepreservation.ca

Contact:  519-836-9314 or admin@wildlifepreservation.ca