Building a New Future for Wildlife

Posted on June 28

Calgary, AB – The Calgary Zoo has broken ground on its much anticipated new Wildlife Conservation Centre, marking the start of construction on the state-of-the-art facility located east of Calgary. With steep rates of decline in wildlife species in Canada, the Calgary Zoo’s Wildlife Conservation Centre stands to be a beacon of hope to endangered species.

“This is a dream 40-years in the making,” said Clément Lanthier, President & CEO. “Our new Wildlife Conservation Centre will help the Calgary Zoo to dramatically increase our conservation breeding for wild reintroduction capabilities to support threatened and at-risk species in critical danger of extinction.”

In 1984, the Calgary Zoo opened the Devonian Wildlife Conservation Centre – an off-site conservation breeding facility located south of Calgary. Over the years, the property became increasingly surrounded by urban development making the zoo’s award-winning reintroduction programs for endangered species much more challenging.

As the only zoo in Canada with an off-site breeding facility, the Calgary Zoo is committed to taking on the immense challenges that species face, using science to sustain threatened wildlife in Canada and around the world. The zoo’s new Wildlife Conservation Centre is a step forward providing the right level of seclusion and ample space for the zoo to expand its conservation programs. Construction is expected to be completed early in 2022.

Located on 330 acres of land, the new Wildlife Conservation Centre will feature:

  • Improved animal habitats for burrowing owls, greater sage-grouse, Vancouver Island marmots, whooping cranes, and Northern leopard frogs;
  • Expanded and purpose-built paddocks, pastures and shelters for hoofstock, and;
  • Accommodations for resident animal care staff and a veterinary clinic.

As with the previous conservation breeding facility, this new facility will not be open to the general public.

The Calgary Zoo is involved in conservation translocation science programs for ten Canadian species: burrowing owl, greater sage-grouse, Vancouver Island marmot, whooping crane, Northern leopard frog, swift fox, black footed-ferret, black-tailed prairie dog, fishers, and half-moon hairstreak butterfly.

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For more information contact |
Alison Archambault
Director, Brand & Engagement
Phone: 403.232.7766 | 403.919.9482 | [email protected]

The Calgary Zoo is a globally recognized conservation organization that guides, innovates, and applies scientific solutions to restore some of the world’s most endangered species. Locally and globally we take action in the wild every day to yield powerful benefits for nature and for people. Our over 1,000 employees and volunteers are passionate about inspiring people to take action to sustain wildlife and wild places, welcoming over 1.3 million guests annually. As visitors discover the rare and endangered species that we love and care for at our facilities, they are directly contributing through admission and on-grounds sales to a not-for-profit charitable conservation organization that works to fight extinction of plants and animals worldwide.