- November 21, 2022 - Space for Life
The commitment of the Montréal Space for Life Foundation’s donor community is unparalleled. Its support provides us with hope for the future of our planet. And incidentally, it was a family that, without knowing it, planted the seeds that gave rise to the idea of creating an Imperilled Species Fund at the Foundation.
A family initiative at the heart of the fund's raison d'être
When the Gadoury-Babino family visited the Espace pour la vie museums in 2021, the two children were swept away by the experience. Inspired, their parents suggested that they help out their favorite museums. The nine-year-old little girl chose to apply her donation to supporting the Biodôme, which has a captive breeding program for wood turtles, an endangered species. Thanks to her contribution, an aquatic module for training baby turtles has been installed to adequately prepare them for their future lives in the wild.
Motivated by this family’s desire to assist biodiversity with the means at their disposal, the Foundation followed suit by proposing to create a consortium of partners that would provide $25,000 a year, to begin with, and then gradually more important amounts as a means of supporting and accelerating Espace pour la vie’s research and conservation capabilities.
Why a fund for species at risk?
The Espace pour la vie research teams, which bring together more than 300 scientists, share a recognized expertise in the preservation of many at-risk species, including the monarch butterfly, the wood turtle, the boreal chorus frog, wild leek and many others.
With this fund, the Foundation aims to support at least one project per year, enabling Espace pour la vie to award grants and to mentor students involved in their research projects, for example, to conduct field work or to purchase specialized equipment fpr live collections that have a home at Espace pour la vie.
To establish and expand the fund, the Foundation is inviting a dozen philanthropic partners from different backgrounds to contribute to its promotion and its funding. The Foundation intends to renew funding by maintaining a group of partners – and by encouraging the community to give as well – in order to gradually expand the success of the fund in the years ahead.
The survival of the copper redhorse
The copper redhorse has been designated a priority in species to be protected by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada. This endangered fish species is the only vertebrate endemic to Québec, its territory limited to the St. Lawrence River and some of its tributaries.
To maximize contributions to the efforts to protect this species, the Space for Life Foundation aims to support, through its Imperilled Species Fund, the urgent creation of the first research and conservation center devoted to the recovery of the copper redhorse in Montréal. This research center, established under the responsibility of Nicolas Gruyer, director of the Biodôme de Montréal, will be headed principally by Nathalie Rose Le François, whose expertise in the ecophysiology of fish and in aquaculture conservation is widely recognized.