York University Professor Bridget Stutchbury has been named one of five finalists in the Canadian Museum of Nature’s Nature Inspiration Awards in the “Adult” category for her work on saving Canada’s most vulnerable animals that are at risk of extinction.
Stutchbury, a Distinguished Research Professor in biology at the Faculty of Science, is among five Canadian environmentalists recognized for their passion for conserving nature, and their ability to inspire the public to value nature and contribute to its preservation.
Stutchbury’s research career at York U has focussed on the ecology and conservation of migratory songbirds, and she has witnessed first-hand the shocking declines of many bird species. Stutchbury has devoted herself to public outreach and is the author of two critically acclaimed books Silence of the Songbirds and The Bird Detective. The former was a Governor Generals Award finalist and inspired the award-winning documentary The Messenger, which features Stutchbury.
Her leadership of Wildlife Preservation Canada (WPC), a not-for-profit whose mission is to prevent extinction, has led the WPC to quickly grow into a leading national conservation organization. Invited to join the board of WPC in 2009, Stutchbury created a science-based strategic plan that took WPC from leading a project for the conservation breeding-and-release program of the Eastern Loggerhead Shrike to saving dozens more species at risk.
Today, WPC leads a native-pollinator program focused on at-risk bumblebees; rears and releases thousands of endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterflies, Oregon spotted frogs and western painted turtles in British Columbia; collaborates with partners for the reintroduction of the mottled duskywing butterfly in Ontario’s Pinery Provincial Park; and has begun work to reintroduce the eastern massasauga rattlesnake to the Ojibway Prairie in southern Ontario.
“It is critical that scientists make their research accessible to the layperson, and also volunteer their time and expertise to organizations that are devoted to preserving our planet’s ecosystems,” says Stutchbury.
The winners of the 2022 Nature Inspiration Awards will be announced Nov. 14, during a gala at the museum, and will be shared online at nature.ca. This event will honor not only the winners of the Nature Inspiration Awards but also each of the finalists.