by NEWS STAFF
Posted Oct 20, 2016 5:44 pm EDT
A state-of-the-art breeding facility – the first of its kind in Canada – has opened in Calgary to help boost the population of an endangered bird: the greater sage-grouse.
The birds were once common in Canada’s prairie region but they are now reaching dangerously low levels with fewer than 400 left across the country, according to information provided by The Calgary Zoo.
In 2013, the federal government announced an emergency order to protect the species.
“I see the greater sage-grouse as an iconic part of our Canadian heritage; a key component of our prairie ecosystem,” states Dr. Axel Moehrenschlager, director of conservation & science, in a news release provided by The Calgary Zoo.
Habitat destruction and human development have caused the wild population numbers to greatly diminish. There are currently 18 sage-grouse in The Calgary Zoo’s new facility.