During the school year, NIWRA offers school children the opportunity to view wildlife, to learn about it and the problems it faces.
Guided tours of the center are available March through October. The center offers visitors the Museum of Nature, with hands-on exhibits, and a live nature walk through with a waterfall; the Eagle Flight Cage where eagles can be viewed through one-way glass, the extensive Public Viewing area that houses all our non-releasable wildlife, and a Nature Trail around the center’s release pond, depicting B.C. flora.
Coupons are not valid with guided tours.
Tours can be booked by calling North Island Wildlife Recovery Association250-248-8534
Email :: email@example.com
Booking early guarantees your choice of days and times.
North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre
In l984, founder Robin Campbell discovered an owl entangled in a fence with its wing mangled. Spirit, as the owl was later named, became the first of many casualties for the Centre. In l986 ,the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association (NIWRA) was formed as a non-profit organization, with its Centre in Errington, just west of Parksville, BC. NIWRA became internationally known for its many high profile rescues and, with the support of the community, developed into the world class facility that exists today.
Our primary goal is to care for wildlife but, in so doing, it is important to help educate the public on wildlife issues. Without this component the numbers of displaced and injured animals would increase. We are pleased to say that the Centre's educational programs have been working!
Wildlife Centre On-Site Tours
General Interest Tour:
This tour includes a live raptor presentation and a guided tour of the facility, which will describe:
- What happened to the animals on display
- Why they are being kept at the Centre (why they are non-releasable)
- What lessons can be learned from these animals
- The natural history of the animals in captivity
Use the Wildlife Centre as your Outdoor Classroom!
Our tours may be tailored to focus on Raptors, Animal Adaptations, or any other topic(s) of interest and can be linked directly to the learning goals of the school cirriculum. Choose your theme, tell us the grade level and let us help to connect your students to our natural world. We encourage your students to explore our interactive educational displays in the May Neish Learning Centre and the Museum of Nature.
For all tours one experienced guide will be available for each 10-15 students.
Tours are suitable for grades K to 12
Cost: $5.00 + tax per student. Adult supervisors are free at a ratio of 1 adult to 5 children.
To see if your school can qualify for a reduction in costs, please go to our website at Randy Pinck Educational Fund.
All of our In-School Programs are designed to complement school curriculum and the following B.C. Ministry of Education curriculum connections are made:
Kindergarten Observation; Characteristrics of Living Things
Grade 1 - 2 Observation; Needs of Living Things; Classification; Animal Growth and Changes
Grade 3 - 4 Investigation; Comparison; Animal Adaptations & Habitats
Grade 5 - 7 Hypothesizing; Problem Solving; Bio-diversity; Ecosystems
Grade 8 - 10 Optics; Animal (Raptor) vision
Grade 11 - 12 Animal Biology and Ecology
To ensure your students derive as much as possible from our programs the maximum number of participants per presentation is 30 unless otherwise noted.
An Owl in the Classroom ( 1 to 1.5 hours, suitable for all grades)
This is our most popular program; it combines a discussion of what makes owls fascinating and efficient birds of prey (hunters) using one of our glove-trained Barred Owls as live examples. There is an optional opportunity for students to become biologists and dissect regurgitated owl pellets to discover what our owls at the Centre have for dinner.
We begin with a brief video showing the operation of the Centre (school to provide DVD player) followed by the live owl presentation and then the pellet dissection if requested. Note: pellet dissection is suitable for grades 3 and up.
Animal Survival & Adaptations (1 to 1.5 hours, suitable for all grade levels)
The program begins with a brief video showing the operation of the Centre (school to provide DVD player) followed by a discussion on what wild animals need in their environment to survive; which includes:
Habitat (Shelter) - Food - Water - Air - Reproduction
We discuss the way wildlife animals use their body characteristics and behaviours to help them survive in the wild. We use bio-facts such as skulls, talons, claws, wings, fur etc. with pictures and display boards to illustrate adaptations such as colouration, mimicry, camouflage and body parts which are designed to help the animal survive in different habitats. Time permitting the class may contruct a food web to illustrate how animals are dependent on each other and on their habitats. This program can also include a live raptor (owl or falcon) as it can be useful to focus on one animal's needs and adaptations and our raptors are ideal for this.
Who Am I? - Learning from the Bones (1.5 to 2 hours, suitable for grade 4 - 12)
This intensely interactive program involves a series of quiz questions about various animal skeletons, skulls, bones, feet and other bio-facts arranged in 10 or so stations, requiring either a large classroom or gymnasium. Students work in small groups going from station to station identifying what they are seeing and determining what the animal is, what it eats and where it lives,etc. The program concludes with a class discussion of the answers.
Examples: One station may display bird skulls and the question would be: "What do these skulls tell you about what these birds eat and how they find their food?" Another may display plaster casts of wildlife tracks with the question. "Who made these tracks?"
The number of participants for this program ranges from 30 - 50, depending on the size of your classroom/gymnasium.
The Bear Facts (1 to 1.5 hours, suitable for all grade levels)
This program describes the Centre's Black Bear Rehabilitation Program, we talk about how bear cubs are orphaned, how they get to the Centre and how we feed and rear then until they are old enough to return to the wild. We explain the vital importance of rearing orphaned cubs in isolation from people and why this is crucial to their survival. A DVD showing bear cubs arriving at the Centre and their progress from helplessness to eventual release illustrates the care and attention needed to ensure their successful return to the wild.
This is followed by a comparison of the three species of bears in Canada, using claws, fur, skull and body shape to demonstate how the bears have adapted to the different habitats and dietary habits. We conclude with a discussion of how we humans affect bears on Vancouver Island and how we can better coexist with bears.
Cost: All In-School programs are $100 + tax, plus mileage charge for schools outside School District 69. To see if your school can qualify for a reduction in the cost, please go to the Randy Pinck Educational Fund on our website.
"This program (Owl) was excellent. It had a great balance of visuals, verbal presentation and hands-on activities. It fit in very well with what we have been learning. I even learned a few new things myself!" (Port Alberni)
"Wonderful amount of information; very relevant and adjusted for what we were studying. (Bears) Great posters and explanations. Awesome group, talked to students like they are regular people, making the presenters authentic and real." (Nanaimo)
"Presenters were great with the students and really modified their talk (Owl) to cater to the high-school level (Grade 10). Students were engaged and excited, other students wanted to watch and a few teachers even came in to watch!" (Courtenay)
LEARNING FROM THE BONES - This program involves a series of quiz questions about various a