Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why is it important to protect nature?
Canada has vast tracts of land and water that absorb pollution and cleanse the air. They keep ecological systems—nutrient flows, the food chain, natural progression of species, heating and cooling patterns—running. They let some native plants and animals thrive with minimal interference from humans.
Protection is very important in our backyards too. When we pave a wetland, force a wild animal and its family away from a property, cut down a tree that shelters birds and insects, or plant just a few kinds of crops or flowers, we limit biodiversity—interrupting an ecological balance that is healthy for us.
By biodiversity we mean the web of life. Everything is connected—change or cut out one part and everything is touched. In nature, more biodiversity is always better.
Q: What can I do to make a difference?
There are lots of ways you can get involved and help make a difference today.
- You can become a member of Nature Canada. Members of Nature Canada contribute in real and meaningful ways to protecting nature and educating Canadians about it. Members also have the right to attend and vote in Nature Canada’s Annual General Meetings.
- Speak out about threatened species or thoughtless development. If it is a cross-Canada problem or an issue relating to federal government jurisdiction, Nature Canada will help.
- Help monitor environmental change by supplying research studies with local data or participating in one of our NatureWatch projects.
- Stay informed about conservation issues and opportunities. Visiting the Nature Canada Web site is a good way to stay informed. Our E-Newsletter, The Nature Nation, has tips for the backyard naturalist every month.
- Protect nature in your own backyard: install a birdhouse, plant a butterfly garden, naturalize your waterfront, keep your cat tethered when outdoors.
- Share your knowledge and love of outdoors with children and relatives.
- Make all these things happen now and for years to come by making a donation to Nature Canada.
Q: Who supports Nature Canada?
An enthusiasm for nature is our common thread. Everyone in Nature Canada finds joy in simple, natural things.
We are outdoor types, nature watchers and naturalists—bird watchers, gardeners, hikers, trippers, collectors, campers and stargazers. We are parents, grandparents, mentors, volunteers, coaches, and youth group leaders—everyday people who care about nature. We are teachers, scientists, lawyers, land planners, ecological consultants and leaders in environmental conservation—people who have a professional as well as personal interest.
Every one of us believes in the value of native plants, wild species and natural settings, and knows we need to take action today to keep them safe and pass them on to future generations.
Q: How does Nature Canada work?
Nature Canada is a grassroots, democratic organization. This means that our members get to vote on important aspects of our organization. We hold Annual General Meetings every year to lay out policies and strategies for how we can best be a voice for nature in the coming year.
Our mission is to protect and conserve wildlife and habitats in Canada by engaging people and advocating on behalf of nature. Our strategies are based on sound science and a passion for nature. We focus on effecting change on issues of national significance including citizen science initiatives, urban nature initiatives, building a national network of conservation organizations, building a network of volunteers to care for critical natural habitat sites across Canada and being a voice for nature at the federal level.
Through our conservation work, we:
- Support on-the-ground, community-based efforts to protect animals, plants and habitat for future generations;
- Push for effective laws and supporting policies that protect endangered species today;
- Encourage the development of an effective network of parks and protected areas from coast to coast to coast;
- Conserve bird habitat and promote biodiversity in Canada and abroad.
Through our outreach and education programs, we:
- Help introduce thousands of children to nature every year;
- Educate people about the benefits of nature to humankind;
- Recruit more nature enthusiasts to the cause of protecting nature and the processes that sustain it.
Q: Do I get a tax receipt for my donation?
Absolutely. Nature Canada is a registered charity and donations are tax-creditable. Acknowledgements and receipts are issued in a timely manner.
Q: Do you have any information on species, like tigers or pandas, found outside of Canada?
Our focus is on nature here in Canada, so we are not the place to turn for information on international species. We will respond to such requests as best we can, but please understand that providing such information is not our mandate.
Q: What is our policy with regards to privacy?
Q: What should I do if I find a sick, injured or orphaned wild animal?
Wildlife belongs in the wild. Occasionally, people will find juvenile wildlife that appears to be orphaned, sick or injured. The public should avoid handling wildlife to prevent bites and scratches. Some species can carry diseases and parasites that are harmful to humans. Injured wildlife also requires specialized and immediate care to recover and return to the wild. For information on how to tell if an animal is truly orphaned and what to do if it is, see our extensive resource on injured wild animals.