Join our LSWR Advocacy Projects!

Over the years, we have recognized the need for proactive prevention work in certain high-risk areas for Wildlife.

Birds In Real Danger, Saskatoon (B.I.R.D.S.)

We have received hundreds of birds that flew into windows and were injured or died from the impact.  In response, we created a partnership with several other organizations called “B.I.R.D.S.” – Birds In Real Danger, Saskatoon.

Partners include:

  • LSWR
  • Saskatoon Nature Society (SNS)
  • Saskatchewan Light Pollution Abatement Committee (SLPAC)
  • Wild Birds Unlimited (WBU)

This is an on-going, growing and evolving advocacy program to reduce the number of “window strikes” in Saskatoon through increased awareness and education about options for window treatments, both on homes as well as businesses.

We have presented concerns to City Council; requested building requirements that use “Bird-Friendly” building codes; given talks and presentations at Gardenscape on the topic, as well as to community groups; and participated in the creation of the City’s Bird-Friendly Yards pamphlet.    We continue these efforts and encourage others to join the effort to save birds from invisible windows.

Contact us if you want to join us in looking for evidence of window strikes downtown, on campus, or create your own area that you check regularly.   We have data-collection sheets available to standardize the information gathered.  All data is entered into the Global Bird Mapper online.

We also encourage everyone to use their voice with City Hall to push for bird-friendly (bird-safe) building requirements.   Every voice counts!

If you find an injured bird, refer to the instructions found on the Birds & Windows page under the "Found an Animal" tab.

Pigeons & Poison in the City

How it came to be an Advocacy Project:

For many years we had a wonderful woman who took in our injured & orphaned pigeons.  She was amazing at going all over the city, helping with “nuisance” birds, giving information and advice, and advocating for these maligned but intelligent birds.

When she was no longer able to provide this service, and we began caring for these birds at the facility, we quickly became aware of just how many arrived having seizures from ingesting poisoned corn!    SO many died….

As the bodies piled up, we realized that these birds are not the only ones at risk from this devastating practice.   Crows were seen picking at the poisoned pigeons; our falconer friends worried about the Peregrines catching and eating a poisoned pigeon; dogs and cats might pick up a dead or dying bird and be at risk of ingesting the poison; as well as other wildlife.   The full potential of the risk to the community was astounding.

What we have done:

We gave a presentation to Saskatoon City Council and asked them to ban the use of neurotoxins in City limits.  The most common neurotoxin used for pigeons is Avitrol.   They agreed that the City itself would no longer use this method to “manage” the pigeon population, but pest management companies continue to be hired by individuals and companies to place poisoned corn in the City.

We always know when a fresh batch of poison has been put out by the upswing in the number of poisoned pigeon calls we receive, and the vibrating/dying pigeons that are brought to us for care.   Unfortunately, there is no antidote to the neurotoxin, and we can only provide a safe place until they die or recover…..

What you can do:

Use your voice and express your opinion to City Council on the matter:

If the City is unable or unwilling to ban the poison outright, we would like them to at least consider a mandatory signage program.   Signs that are visible to the public at addresses where they have used the poison would provide the local community with the knowledge and the ability to take steps to protect their pets as needed.   There is a similar signage requirement for companies using pesticides on lawns to ensure they notify the neighborhood via a sign that the lawn was treated with pesticides.

Beavers in the City

How it came to be an Advocacy Project:

We began advocating for the use of non-lethal management for the beavers along our beautiful river after we had a young beaver escape to the river.   As we toured the riverbanks each morning in the coming weeks, we met many interesting people.  Unfortunately, one of them was a man who was paid to lethally trap these animals at their lodges.

We did not realize that Saskatoon “actively manages” the beaver populations within City limits.  Given the number of alternative options for dealing with unwanted beaver activity, LSWR began to advocate that the city consider such non-lethal options.

Beavers provide such a benefit to watersheds by retaining water on the land and nourishing the ecosystem to increase biodiversity.   Biodiversity is the key ingredient to survival on this planet, and keeping us all alive, together.

What we have done:

We have had conversations with individuals at MVA, asking that they deny permission to kill beavers under their jurisdiction.

With significant support from Eco-Friendly Sask, we had a volunteer attend a Beaver Symposium in Alberta to learn all the techniques for non-lethal management of beavers.  Our hope is that he will be able to provide workshops to those interested in learning these skills.   We continue to build on this project, moving slowly due to significant history of using the beaver as a “resource”, seeing it as a “nuisance” and the common tendency to shoot rather than expend energy to co-exist.

In partnership with the School of Environment & Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan, we participated in developing a survey on campus about Attitudes toward Beavers which can be expanded and applied to the public in the city at some point.

What you can do:

There are many additional areas to expand and explore for this advocacy project, and we welcome all volunteers and supporters to assist us in getting the word out about the Amazing benefits of Beavers!!

Please Contact us to get more information on how you can help!