A Shared Commitment to Whooping Crane Recovery: Canadian Natural and the Wilder Institute

December 7, 2023

Canadian Natural Resources Limited (Canadian Natural) has partnered with the Wilder Institute to help protect one of North America’s most at-risk bird species – the whooping crane – with an investment of $600,000 over the next three years. This significant contribution will support the Wilder Institute’s Whooping Crane Conservation Program. As the sole Canadian breeding partner in the whooping crane recovery effort, the Wilder Institute plays a crucial role in their conservation.  

“We are proud to be working together with the Wilder Institute in support of this important conservation program. The expertise at the Institute will strengthen the whooping crane recovery effort, while also enhancing Canadian Natural’s environmental practices.” said Bill Clapperton, Vice President, Regulatory, Stakeholder and Environment Affairs.

As part of this collaboration, the Wilder Institute will provide specialized training and resources to Canadian Natural, such as best practices for monitoring cranes in the wild, mitigation strategies, and support for short-term care and release should the need arise. Access to these unique materials and training will support Canadian Natural in continuing the path of achieving its sustainability goals. 

The Wilder Institute has been contributing cranes for release into the wild since 1992. Cranes hatched at their conservation facilities become part of the breeding flock under human care while some are released annually into the eastern migratory or Louisiana non-migratory populations. The goal is to establish two self-sustaining populations of whooping cranes in the wild, in addition to the Wood Buffalo-Aransas population, that are genetically stable and resilient. 

While you are not able to visit the whooping cranes that reside at the Wilder Institute’s Archibald Biodiversity Centre, there will be another way to see this beautiful bird in person – just head to the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo. Nestled in the new Wild Canada zone you’ll find a stunning Whooping Crane Habitat, presented by Canadian Natural, which will soon feature two ambassadors for the species.  

“Supporting the recovery of whooping cranes with such a generous investment and a training commitment is not just about saving a species, it’s a testament to the power of working together in the name of conservation,” said Kimberly E. Greenlaw, Senior Manager of Philanthropy and Partnerships at the Wilder Institute. “In the 1940s, there were only 21 of these majestic birds left in the wild. Now, thanks to efforts such as dedicated breeding programs, with the support of passionate partners like Canadian Natural, we’ve seen a remarkable resurgence.” 

Partnerships of this nature are instrumental in discovering inventive solutions to conservation challenges, ensuring that the captivating presence of the whooping crane continues throughout North American wetlands for generations to come. 

Learn more about this collaborative conservation program over at WilderInstitute.org/Whooping-Crane 

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