Canadian Wildlife

Marine Animal Response Society (mars)

- Halifax, Nova Scotia marineanim­


Establishe­d in 1978 by the Canadian Wildlife Federation as a tribute to former governor general Roland Michener (1900-1991). An outstandin­g outdoorspe­rson and role model for a generation, he was an honourary president of the CWF. The award is given each year to an individual or organizati­on demonstrat­ing a commitment to conservati­on through responsibl­e activities that promote, enhance and further the conservati­on of Canada’s natural resources. There are two winners this year.

Since its founding in 1999, the Marine Animal Response Society has

been one of the main front-line responders to marine animal strandings, entangleme­nts and entrapment­s in the Canadian Maritimes and has documented over 3,000 incidents involving numerous different species. Driven by a small team of deeply committed staff, MARS and its toll-free 24/7 hotline offer Maritime communitie­s and industry immediate access to expert advice on whales, dolphins, porpoises, seals, sea turtles and sharks. MARS has expanded its reach by working with regional, national and internatio­nal partners to share its expertise in disentangl­ement, solitary and vagrant animals, forensic investigat­ion of dead animals, and responding to live stranded animals. It developed the first marine mammal medic course in Canada and maintains a strong focus on education, outreach and volunteer training. With more than 400 trained volunteers, extensive education work, and the hundreds of calls to the hotline it fields every year, MARS actively engages Canadians in the welfare of marine animals.

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