Mr. Michael Belanger President and Director of OERS received the 15 year Volunteer Service Award from the Province of Ontario for his self-less work with OERS. He was recognized at the awards ceremony in Barrie, Ontario in October.
Dr Carin Wittnich Lead veterinarian & Scientist with OERS received the 15 year Volunteer Service Award from the Province of Ontario for her work with OERS. She was recognized at the awards ceremony in Barrie, Ontario in October.
2 OERS Directors Are Granted Membership into the IUCN- Otter Specialist Group!
OERS Directors, Dr Carin Wittnich and Mike Belanger, have both been invited to become Affiliate Members of the IUCN (The World Conservation Union) Species Survival Commission (SSC)-Otter Specialist Group (OSG). The letter of invitation describes the IUCN’s SSC as being “a global, science-based network of thousands of volunteer experts, working together towards achieving the vision of “A world that values and conserves present levels of biodiversity”. The major role of the SSC is to provide information to the IUCN on the conservation of species and on the inherent value of species…”. The OSG provides leadership towards the conservation of every species of otters, reviews and determines their needs, and promotes their management.
Being the only 2 Canadians presently within the Otter Specialist Group (with a third to be named shortly), Carin and Mike are both extremely pleased at having been invited, which recognizes their long term commitment to both the conservation of otters and preservation of biodiversity. OERS President Mike gave credit to the work of everyone within the organization. “I am deeply honored at having been asked to join the IUCN’s Otter Specialist Group as it recognizes the efforts of everyone who has played a role into making OERS the organization it is today”. Carin, OERS Lead Veterinarian and Scientist, expressed her pleasure when she found out. “I was very humbled and honored to receive notice that the Species Survival Commission had appointed myself and Mike as OSG Affiliate members. Their recognizing us as having long term commitment towards the conservation of otters is wonderful and especially as we are only 2 of 3 Canadians so listed at present. I take this responsibility very seriously and look forward to working with the OSG group towards their goals.”.