From York Media Relations.
TORONTO, January 6, 2015 –The Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) at York University and Wildlife Preservation Canada (WPC) are partnering on a unique collaboration in the fight to save animal species at risk from extinction in Canada.

The partnership will combine academic research and teaching with experiential learning to create opportunities for students at Canada’s largest faculty for environmental studies. This will allow York U students to gain hands-on experience with WPC’s species recovery programs for at risk birds, reptiles, amphibians and pollinators, such as the Rusty-Patched Bumblebee,  the Eastern Loggerhead Shrike and Ord’s Kangaroo Rat.

Saving the songbirds. This Eastern Loggerhead Shrike is a critically endangered songbird. Photo courtesy of Wildlife Preservation Canada

Saving the songbirds. This Eastern Loggerhead Shrike
is a critically endangered songbird.

“This partnership will allow FES students the opportunity to work on the conservation and management of some of Canada’s most at-risk species,” said FES Professor Sheila Colla.

WPC Executive Director Randal Heide said, “We have partnered with York on a more informal basis in the past, and are excited to be deepening our relationship. FES offers a number of unique strengths, and we believe this collaboration will lead to improved prospects for some of Canada’s most critically endangered species.”

Ord's Kangaroo Rat is one of Alberta's most endangered animals. Photo courtesy of Wildlife Preservation Canada

Ord’s Kangaroo Rat is one of Alberta’s most endangered animals.

Colla was brought on by WPC as a postdoctoral researcher in 2012 and in this role developed their nationwide At-risk Native Pollinator Initiative, now one of their largest programs. With the creation of this new partnership, she will continue as the lead scientific advisor for the program.

“Wildlife Preservation Canada is a unique organization in that they are using the best available science to provide hands-on care to Canadian species at the brink of extinction,” said Colla.

York University is known for championing new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our 52,000 students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-discipline programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 24 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide.