Wilder Canada Action Plan Debuts on the Global Stage at the World Species Congress

May 16, 2024 | 3 minute read

16 MAY 2024 (Calgary, AB) – Yesterday, Dr. Gráinne McCabe, our Chief Conservation Officer, proudly represented the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo at the inaugural World Species Congress. This virtual 24-hour event, hosted by Reverse the Red, aimed to garner 100,000 commitments and actions towards species conservation. Dr. McCabe took to the virtual stage to present the Wilder Canada Action Plan—a visionary 10-year biodiversity action strategy focused on targeted conservation translocations to safeguard Canada’s endangered species.

A staggering one-third of the earth’s imperiled species require additional, targeted actions to prevent their disappearance and foster long-term recovery. In Canada alone, species-specific conservation translocations are recommended (or under consideration) for over 40% of federally listed species-at-risk. These efforts involve relocating animals and plants to support population recovery in the wild, including species reintroduction, assisted colonization, and reinforcing wild populations through conservation breeding and propagation.

“The Wilder Canada Action Plan, a testament to our commitment to conservation, offers a distinctly ‘Made in Canada’ approach to conservation that integrates collaboration between public and private sectors, aimed at achieving Canada’s 2030 biodiversity goals,” said Dr. McCabe. “Should this plan come to fruition, it will be our nation’s largest coordinated species recovery effort.”

Aligned with both the Kunming-Montréal Global Biodiversity Framework and the rigorous standards outlined in the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Global Species Action Plan, the Wilder Canada Action Plan embodies a collaborative endeavor with governments, Indigenous nations, NGOs, researchers, and landowners. The primary objective is to restore robust populations of endangered wildlife nationwide, with tailored solutions addressing Canada’s biodiversity challenges. These actions are meticulously designed to yield tangible and measurable outcomes, representing a significant stride towards realizing Canada’s biodiversity conservation targets.

During her address at the virtual conference, Dr. McCabe elaborated on our comprehensive strategy for addressing the pressing issue of biodiversity loss in Canada. She underscored the critical role of translocation initiatives in recovering species at risk of extinction, highlighting the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo’s dedication to preserving Canada’s rich ecological tapestry.

However, this plan is not just about halting species loss, rather it will also address a widespread lack of capacity in complex conservation methods. A fundamental aspect of the Wilder Canada Action Plan will involve capacity-building, fostering collaboration, and expanding participation by forming partnerships with Indigenous Elders, Knowledge Keepers, and community members, to bring non-traditional actors into the translocation sector. Success in conservation requires the active involvement of everyone, not just conservationists. We need a whole-of-society approach, and this is what our plan will help to achieve.

“We acknowledge that reconciliation is a journey,” noted Dr. McCabe. “The Wilder Canada Action Plan will also reflect our commitment to inclusive conservation approaches that underscore the profound value for diverse perspectives and community contexts, integrating human rights-based approaches – because only together will we find solutions to conservation challenges that can benefit both wildlife and people.”

Envisioning a world where the balance between wildlife and human life is restored, the Wilder Institute aspires to ensure that wildlife thrives, ecosystems flourish, and future generations inherit a world where we all belong.

– 30 –

For more information contact:
Alison Archambault
Director, Brand & Engagement
403.232.7766 | 403.919.9482 |