What is Re-wilding

Wildlife shelters aid thousands of mammals and birds affected by human presence, helping them recover and return to the wild, mitigating our impact on wild neighbours.

Black Bear Program

NLWS rehabilitates black bears from across the province of BC, except from the Vancouver region and Vancouver Island as they are covered respectively by Critter Care Wildlife Society and North Island Recovery Association.

We often get the argument that there are enough black bears in the province and it is a waste of time and resources to rehab black bears. Everyone at NLWS begs to differ with such opinions.

  • Every life has value and deserves to be treated accordingly.
  • Human impact on our wildlife species is growing at an alarming rate and what is common today can easily be endangered or gone tomorrow.
  • Re-wilding bears offers unique study opportunities.
  • We have much to learn and the work we do with black bears can greatly aid in the protection and recovery of endangered bear species around the world.
  • We share our work as widely as possible, work with Universities and other organization in a bid to answer important questions and aim to educate with each bear we raise and release.

You Can Help Improve an Animals Life!

Grizzly Program

In 2007 NLWS and the BC Government embarked on a pilot project to re-wild orphaned grizzly cubs.  Though this program has been running for many years now, we are still in the learning process. Low animal numbers and a sharp learning curve have yet to lead to a solid base program, though there are some promising results.

In the beginning NLWS partnered with other organizations to cover costs of post release monitoring, but we found that those partnerships did not meet our view of best practices for the animals. In 2023 we decided to take over the post release monitoring by hiring our own researchers to ensure that the work was conducted in the spirt of the original program. While issues of raising the bears in human care have mostly been solved, choosing good release sites and monitoring survival rates remains work in progress.

The aim of this project is to create a best practice manual that can aid other jurisdictions to create similar programs.

You Can Help Improve an Animals Life!

Your Donations Save Lives!

Your donation saves Lives  Donating to Northern Lights Wildlife Shelter saves wildlife by providing crucial resources for their care, such as food, shelter, and medical treatment. The shelter rescues and re-wilds injured or orphaned wildlife, giving them a second chance at life. Your donation can directly contribute to the well-being and survival of these vulnerable species.

Moose Program

Moose are consistently becoming more threatened in the wild and numbers in many of BC regions are on a steady decline.  Loss of habitat, train and vehicle death as well as often poorly managed hunting practices leave this species struggling.

By raising orphaned calves we can at least minimize our human impact a little. Despite their imposing size moose are fragile in many ways. They have a very sophisticated feeding regiment that is hard to provide in alternative feeding while in care. To mitigate this problem, we have been raising our calves on a slow release program that allows them to browse in the wild during the day and locks them up at night for protection of predators.

Calves often stay with their mom until the following spring of their birth, though they typically stop nursing in the fall of their birth year. Staying with their mom until spring gives them the predator protection that we provide with overnight fencing.

You Can Help Improve an Animals Life!

Small Mammals & Birds Program

NLWS typically acts as a transitional group to send injured/orphaned birds to one of the longstanding BC centres that are equipped and experienced to deal with these species.

All mammals in need will find help at our shelter, be cared for and returned to the wild as soon as they are ready.  However some species are exempt or for other reasons can’t be kept until a release would be viable.

  • Wolves and cougars are exempt on our permits and as per government regulations can’t be released. We will do our best to find good places for such wildlife in long-term human care and if that is impossible the will be humanly euthanized as per permit requirements.
  • Beavers are not mature enough to be released until 3 years of age. At this point NLWS doesn’t have facilities to accommodate them for that long. We will try to find places that can or places in long-term human care.
  • Mountain Goats also need a longer time to mature and also need special fencing to prevent escapes as they can jump to great heights. At this point NLWS doesn’t have enclosures to facilitate this species, but we are working on funding to build such an enclosure and make re-wilding of Mountain Goats a possibility in the near future.

You Can Help Improve an Animals Life!