Connecting People to Nature
Providing Sanctuary for Animals:
OASES strives to inspire people to value wildlife and safeguard existing species through conservation. Our vision is to develop a nature and conservation center providing a permanent sanctuary for threatened and endangered species. When built this center will be a catalyst for wildlife conservation efforts worldwide, through comprehensive educational and awareness programs, and where threatened plants and animals are well cared for in appropriate environments ensuring their long-term health and well being.
At present, OASES cares for several animals received from zoological parks, or from wildlife authorities, due due to smuggling activities, including : Radiated, Spider, Indian Star tortoises, and a Madagascar tree boa, all smuggled into Canada in 1996 and 1997. We also care for Pygmy Marmosets, Major Mitchell’s cockatoo, Eclectus Parrots, and Poison Dart Frogs, all former residents of the Crystal Gardens Conservation Centre. Learn more »
Golden Cat Study (Africa):
The African Golden Cat (Caracal aurata) is Africa’s only forest-dependent felid. Due to high rates of deforestation and bushmeat hunting, it has already lost a large proportion of its former range and is currently classified as Near-threatened on the IUCN Red List. Very little is known about the African golden cat, and the few studies that have been done have focused on the golden cat’s diet, which was found to consist mostly of mammalian prey, notably rodents and small antelopes.
This project set out to test the use of camera traps for studying the species’ biology in 2010 in Gabon’s Lope National Park. Sixty camera traps were left up at 30 sites, two on each side of the trail. A total of 37 golden cat captures were recorded during this period, showing that camera traps are a viable tool for monitoring golden cats. OASES providing funding to the International Society for Endangered Cats (ISEC) Canada, to support the purchase of several camera traps. Learn more »
Purple Martins (North America):
The Purple Martin (Progne subis) is the largest North American swallow. These aerial acrobats have speed and agility in flight, and when approaching their housing, will dive from the sky at great speeds with their wings tucked.
The unique western species (P. s. arboricola) had been reduced to only 5 pairs in British Columbia in the mid-1980s. A nest-box program was started by the Georgia Basin Ecological Assessment and Restoration Society along its North American Pacific coast range from California to BC, and this has resulted in an estimated population of about 800 pairs today.
OASES has contributed funds and labour for adding and maintaining nest boxes at the Tod Inlet colony for a number of years, and that colony is now BCs fourth largest! Learn More »
Suzie the Tiger:
In 2009, “Suzie” a Bengal/Siberian tiger cross was being kept at a private residence in a rural community known as the Highlands, northwest of Victoria. Concerned about public safety, the Highlands Council ordered the Tiger to be moved to more appropriate facilities. Highlands Mayor, Jane Mendum, and with the assistance of Highlands Planner Laura Beckett, worked with OASES to establish a trust fund to assist in the relocation to an accredited rescue located in Colorado. Interest in Suzie’s well-being was high, and several donations were received to aid in her relocation.
Sadly, before the relocation took place, Suzie was moved to an undisclosed location in the Interior of BC. Due to this unfortunate ending to Suzie’s story, the original donors were contacted with news regarding her fate. Given the inability for OASES to assist in Suzie’s relocation, donors were consulted and their funds were redirected towards the conservation and research of the African Golden Cat.
Over the past 5 years, OASES volunteers have presented school and interpretive programs to local area schools, community events, and related activities in and around the Greater Victoria Regional District. These events consist of programs featuring one endangered species (most often the Indian star tortoise), but also the Solomon Islands skink (also known as prehensile-tailed or monkey-tailed skinks), and bats. We have also done programs featuring a group of species (tortoises, skinks, snakes, hawks) and more recently the hedgehog.
The basic program includes an introduction to the topic, followed by a question-and-answer session with the audience (most often school children) to engage them and find out their knowledge of the subject. Programs also feature a general discussion about specific groups of animals (eg. reptiles) with a focus on specific species. Ties are constantly made to habitat protection and to local similar species. The animal guests are introduced gradually and nearer the end of each program.
From time to time, OASES provides open venues for public presentations and fundraisers by leading wildlife biologists, researchers and conservationists — each profiling their outstanding efforts to save threatened and endangered species.
In the last few years, these programs have included engaging presentations by: