Archibald Biodiversity Centre

Our conservation facility is the new home for our conservation breeding programs and will house species such as the greater sage-grouse, Vancouver Island marmot, burrowing owl, and the whooping crane.

Our commitment to give only the best to the species in our care

Species here in Western Canada and around the world are facing increasing pressures. The Wilder Institute has a long track record of successfully rebuilding endangered species populations through conservation breeding and reintroduction programs.

Since 1985, our organization has operated an off-site conservation breeding facility located south of Calgary to address the mounting need for conservation breeding and reintroduction programs. Some of Canada’s most endangered species, such as whooping cranes and Vancouver Island marmots, owe their existence to the facility’s skilled team of animal care specialists and scientists. However, what was once a remote oasis for the breeding of some of North America’s most endangered species, has become increasingly pressured by urban development and is no longer suited for the sensitive breeding work that happens there. The Wilder Institute decided to overcome these challenges while simultaneously setting ourselves up to make a difference for species for generations to come.

A one-of-a-kind conservation centre

In 2021, the Wilder Institute broke ground on our much-anticipated Archibald Biodiversity Centre (ABC). This new location is remote enough to afford the level of seclusion necessary for successful conservation and research programs yet close enough to be easily serviced from the main Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo property. The adjacent lands present minimal opportunity for future development ensuring the appropriate ‘buffer’ and seclusion necessary to keep the animals in their natural state; an essential element of successful reintroduction programs.

This one-of-a-kind facility located on 333 acres of land in Wheatland County, represents the best of what conservation charities are capable of. The new campus not only enables our organization to improve breeding facilities for our current programs such as whooping cranes, burrowing owls, greater sage-grouse and Vancouver Island marmots, but also sets the stage to dramatically increase our ability to add wildlife and plant breeding programs to the Institute’s portfolio.

The success of these programs also hinges on the integration of rigorous, applied scientific study with cutting-edge animal husbandry expertise and informed adaptive management. The Wilder Institute is well positioned to achieve this success. Our internationally recognized team of reintroduction scientists work hand-in-hand with our animal care and veterinary teams to conduct innovative research at the Centre and in the field to maximize the success of both the conservation breeding and reintroductions. As Canada’s centre of excellence in conservation breeding and reintroductions, the knowledge and techniques developed at the ABC are shared around the world to aid in species recovery globally.

This ambitious construction project would not have been possible without the support of a group of like-minded philanthropists and sponsors called the Founders Circle:

  • Archibald Family
  • Sandra Babush
  • Estate of Gordon C. Barber
  • Calgary Foundation
  • Canadian Natural Resources Limited
  • Estate of Fiona Jean Clement
  • ConocoPhillips Canada Resources Corp
  • Crescent Point Energy
  • Duckett Foundation
  • Enbridge Inc.
  • Estate of Geraldine Fish
  • Jim and Leslie Guenter
  • Keyera Corporation
  • Ken and Debbie Lueers
  • Estate of John Frederick Mercer
  • Pembina Pipeline Corporation
  • Power of One Foundation
  • The Donald and Eleanor Seaman Family Foundation
  • Joan Snyder

Thank you!

The ABC wouldn’t be possible without a generous donation by Don Archibald and family, who helped support the development and construction of the facility.

The ABC is not open to the public. 


Join the movement

Incredible successes can be achieved when we work together.

With your support, we can continue providing a high quality of care for our animals at the ABC. Join our donor community and take action for wildlife and wild places today!