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"CEI is devoted to the preservation of North America's biodiversity, through the conservation and breeding of endangered indigenous species, ecosystem restoration through the reintroduction of extirpated fauna and flora, wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and release,the education of the public, and the monitoring of both habitat and species through the development of non intrusive biological survey methods."
At Cochrane Ecological Institute volunteers are an integral part of the operation. Without them we could not accomplish our mission. Who are these people who give of their time for the restoration of the environment? CEI has had volunteers from all walks of life and many countries (England, Australia, Iran, Scotland, Belgium, USA, Denmark, to name a few). They also come from every sector of society, Corporate, Universities, grade schools, service clubs, or just interested citizens. Our aim is to make the volunteer effort of interest and of value to the individuals, to do this most all the volunteers have an individual project or set of duties that fit their abilities and interests as well as the CEI's.
The projects are numerous and varied. Some service clubs (Jr. Forest Rangers, Boy Scouts, British Army, NorTel) work on construction projects. These can range from building Swift fox shelters, putting up fences or building flight pens to putting in artificial beaches for riparian ecosystem restoration. NorTel used the building of an owl flight pen as a team building exercise for their staff. A unit of the British Army on exercises in Alberta put in about 500 meters of fencing for an experimental Swift fox enclosure A retired US Marine Colonel provided his private airplane to move rehabilitated otters to a release area in remote BC.
Students use the facility and volunteer for several purposes. At the CEI they can get hands -on experience working with wildlife, conduct projects for their degrees, or take time to evaluate what field they want to pursue in the future. Student involvement is always made productive by involvement in CEI projects. Some have stayed a few days, others for over a year, still others come on a weekly basis to perform routine duties or studies.
Individuals contribute significantly as volunteers as well. We have photographers who help with our publicity, a writer who assists with Annual Reports and campaigns, a woodworker who helps design and build and maintain our facilities. And almost all of them at some time work with the animals or come on Swift fox releases.
The Cochrane Ecological Institute and Wildlife Reserve (CEI) has built Happy Tails Retreat, a dog and cat boarding kennel. The kennel will become one of CEI's profit making Social Initiative, designed to support the day to day costs of the CEI's WILDLIFE REHABILITATION PROGRAMS.
This will place CEI on a sustainable financial footing and support our wildlife and educational programs at the same time.
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