Clio Smeeton

Clio Smeeton (Photo courtesy of Clio Smeeton)

Clio Smeeton was born in Rissalpur, Pakistan, and immigrated to Canada at age four. She has worked with wildlife since 1963 and is president of the Cochrane Ecological Institute (CEI). The Smeeton family bought the 160 acres (65 hectares) of Montane habitat in the eastern foothills of the Rockies in 1964 and established the CEI there. CEI undertakes ecosystem restoration through reintroduction of key species, and is best known for initiating and implementing swift fox reintroduction in North America.

 The Smeetons brought the founder foxes for this up to Canada in 1971 — the only captive breeding colony in North America of swift fox intended to produce progeny for reintroduction. CEI provided 860 swift foxes for reintroduction in Canada (1983-1997) and in partnership with the Blackfeet Nation of Montana, CEI initiated and implemented the first swift fox reintroduction in the U.S. Later on, in partnership with the Kainai, CEI participated in the first reintroduction of an indigenous extirpated species, swift fox, to be undertaken on Aboriginal lands by Aboriginal people in Canada.