Sandy Pines aims to prevent species loss with video series

After a year in production, Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre (SPWC) is ready to release a 5-part video series with accompanying lesson plans on species-at-risk in Ontario. The series aims to raise awareness of species disappearing in our community and is a call to action for youth and adults to create a world where these species can thrive here again, according to a release from the organization.

“At Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre, we focus on helping individual animals who are sick, injured, or orphaned, typically from human activity,” said SPWC’s Medical Director, Leah Birmingham. “We see several species-at-risk each year like Northern Map Turtles, Bald Eagles, and Grey Rat Snakes. It’s a huge undertaking to prevent species loss more than we already have and it varies in so many different directions. There’s no way one organization can tackle all of that. We need people working on habitat, working on education, working on saving individual species, working on saving a variety of species. We need it all.”

In recognizing this need for collaboration, each video features Leah Birmingham who shares the treatment journey of a species-at-risk at SPWC, followed by an interview with a community partner whose work also supports these species, according to the release. Partners include Stana Luxford Oddie (Cataraqui Conservation), Lesley Rudy (Queen’s University), Kenny Ruelland (Reptile and Amphibian Advocacy), Hazel Wheeler (Wildlife Preservation Canada), and Amanda Tracey (Nature Conservancy of Canada).

Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre staff change a bandage on a Blanding’s Turtle (Threatened) with multiple shell fractures and wounds on their limbs after being hit by a car. Submitted image.

To celebrate the series launch, a public release party will take place on Saturday, April 2, 2022, from 1 to 3 p.m. over Zoom. In addition to showcasing the videos and lesson plans publicly for the first time, SPWC said that community partners will join live on the Zoom call to answer questions and provide updates on the work they are doing to protect species-at-risk in our community. The videos and lessons (designed for Grades 6 to 8) will be available on the SPWC website after the event.

This project was made possible in part by an award from the National Geographic Society’s COVID-19 Remote Learning Emergency Fund for Educators and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation.

For more details and to reserve a free ticket to the release party, visit For questions about the release party, email [email protected].

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