The Dominion Wildlife Service was created by Order-in-Council in November 1947 with fewer than 30 staff gathered from diverse federal agencies. In 1950, the name was changed to the Canadian Wildlife Service, and under that name the agency has become internationally recognized. Although its mandate most clearly focused on the management of migratory birds, as defined under the Migratory Birds Convention Act, on game and furbearing mammals, and on the enforcement of international treaties for the conservation of species, in carrying out these responsibilities it has originated research on critical species and the factors affecting their survival throughout the country. Over 50 years, this has involved, among other studies, primary ones on Elk, Moose, and Bison in National Parks, the dynamics of northern species such as Caribou, Muskoxen, Polar Bears, Wolves, and Arctic Foxes, the population ecology and migration patterns of geese and ducks, songbird surveys, shorebird and seabird studies, major initiatives in the conservation of the Trumpeter Swan, Whooping Crane, and Peregrine Falcon, and limnological studies of the health of lakes to enhance fish production. As well as conducting research in National Parks for several decades, the Service has managed federal sanctuaries and wildlife areas including such well-known ones as Last Mountain Lake and those on the north shore and gulf of the St. Lawrence River. It has been a leader in research on environmental toxicology and effects of toxic substances on wildlife, contributed to the Canada Land Inventory Program, and developed innovative public education programs such as interpretive nature centres and the "Hinterland Who's Who" series in print and on television. It has also enforced federal wildlife regulations, initiated habitat conservation programs, and promoted both federal-provincial and international cooperation in wildlife conservation. A major role has been coordinating endangered species evaluation and protection, both within Canada on COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada) and internationally through CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora). It is a leader in proposed legislation expected to result in an endangered species act for Canada. Throughout its history its legends and accomplishments have bound the Wildlife Service into a unit whose employees' pride and passion have enabled it to survive resource reductions, decentralizing, and reorganizations and to remain innovative, vigorous, and relevant for the conservation and enforcement challenges yet to come. Its story is enhanced here by the reminiscences of many Wildlife Service veterans.