Spotlight on new board member Deborah Galle!

Please share an early/childhood experience that was pivotal to your personal relationship with wildlife.  

As a child, I LOVED wildlife. I would find toads, salamanders, snakes, bumble bees and hold them all! I was fascinated by their behaviors and could watch them for hours. When I was about 7 years old, I would visit two swans across the street - my home was in an area with a large marsh and wooded area. I would whistle for them and the pair would fly in with a big swoosh. They even allowed me near their nesting area and would approach me as I sat on the seawall and playfully nip at my sneaker tips. I never touched them, I simply watched them for hours. When I was about 8 years old, I brought a snake home and convinced my mother that I needed her/him for my science project. She allowed me to keep the snake for several weeks until the project was completed. The snake would sit in my hand and wrap around my fingers. Unfortunately, my Uncle came by and identified her/him as a baby Copperhead. I begged him for a 10-minute head start before telling my mother, so I could run out to the marsh and woods to release her/him, safely! The snake never attempted to bite me.

I wanted to be a veterinarian from the time I learned to say the word!

How did you initially become involved with IWRC and why did you choose to become involved on a board level?  

I became a member of the IWRC after seeing them at my first NWRA Symposium. I Purchased the Book Wildlife Rehabilitation: A Comprehensive Approach, and found it to be easier reading than the NWRA manual. I have served on the CWRA Board of Directors for a number of years. I have considered submitting an application to the NWRA or IWRC but was on the fence about which one. I will most likely relocate out of state at some point and I was looking for a responsible organization to continue to serve. I believe the IWRC is emerging as a viable (and valuable) resource for wildlife rehabilitators. The IWRC won out over the NWRA, although I appreciate both organizations, immensely!

Describe a specific area of interest or a particular passion within the scope of IWRC's mission.

Increasing the demographic of the IWRC and the continuation of the dissemination of accurate information,  as we learn more about wildlife and that information changes.

Describe a skill that you have that has been surprisingly useful to your work as a wildlife rehabilitator? (or as an IWRC board member?)

My communications training has been a huge asset. Client service skills were developed during my time in retail management. I was fortunate to have been a communications and benefits manager for Time Warner. This allowed me to hone my skills as an educator, coach and presenter. These skills enable me to assist other rehabilitators and the community with regard to wildlife (Put the rabbit back!).

Describe a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.

I can learn anything. That is why my professional experience covers an array of industries. The most significant accomplishment would have to be my transition from retail into corporate. I had all of the skills for retail and almost none of the technical skills required for Corporate. I was sent on a “practice” interview and met with a VP of Human Resources. After the interview, I was to report back to the temp agency and they would compare notes with the VP. The VP requested me as her new temp employee and argued with the temp agency who had the client’s interest in mind and wanted a good match. The VP won and I began working for her. Two weeks later, Time Warner purchased the company. I completed my temp assignment and was contacted by Time Inc.’s VP of HR who requested that I take on another temp assignment implementing a new call center during open enrollment that year. Once completed they refused to let me go and I was promoted several times during the next 10 years. It was a great place to work during those years!

If you could choose, who would you have as a mentor?  

I appreciate all of the Board members, but I know I asked whether Dani would be available. I was delighted when she agreed to be my mentor!

If you were to do something else professionally, what would it be?

Wildlife or Forensic Biologist.

If you could be a wild animal, which would you be?

Owl

What is the thing for which you have waited in line the longest?

Concert tickets - Bruce Springsteen

What excites you so much that it keeps you awake the night before?

Knowing that I will be travelling to see my family!

Describe any companion animals that you share your home and life with.

I have a 10 lb rabbit named Ollie. He is nine years old and a big love. He loves to simply hang out and take in whatever is going on around him.

I share a couple of rabbits with friends because mine was boarded and bonded with their pets. It did not seem fair to pull them when so happy!

I have a rescue Chihuahua who was left abandoned in an apartment in CA  with her sister, for two weeks before Animal Control found them. She was emaciated and near death and brought to a kill shelter for humane euthanasia. She was pulled at the last minute by a rescue organization (She was not even a year old!) and flown to CT.

2019 Board Updates

IWRC's annual board and officer elections are complete. Breakdown of the results:

 

Member Election Results

Jayanthi Kallam *new board member

Pat Latas *new board member

Dani Nicholson (reelected)

Board Appointed Individuals

Deborah Galle *new board member

Kristen Heitman (reelected)

Mandy Kamps (reelected)

Ashraf NVK (reelected)

Officer Positions

Adam Grogan has moved from his previous post as to president-elect to President and Sue Wylie our previous president has left the board after serving her full time allotment.

Our other officer positions remain the same as 2018 with Mandy Kamps - vice-president, Kristen Heitman - secretary, Dani Nicholson - treasurer.

 

Meet all our 2019 full board of directors

Words from Pat Latas DVM – IWRC’s newest board member!

Please share an early/childhood experience that was pivotal to your personal relationship with wildlife.  

I’m not sure that there was one experience, I was involved with the natural world from my first memories and before--there is a family photo of me in diapers bent over watching some ants...I suppose the moment I was old enough to recognize another being, looking at and evaluating me as an equal, was when a one-footed crow came to visit our backyard over several years. Who knows how it came about, but my family called him Jack, and he came to recognize his name and often brought friends to visit. As a child, I did not know he was “just a crow”.

How did you initially become involved with IWRC and why did you choose to become involved on a board level?  

In the late 80s and early 90s, only a few years out of vet school, I had the fortune to drop into a position that allowed me to serve as a wildlife veterinarian at an active and progressive wildlife rehabilitation organization. As a field biologist by training, prior to vet school, it was a hole in my professional life that was filled. At the time, I was very concerned about reptile and amphibian standards of care, welfare and rehabilitation methods. IWRC shared the same concerns and was responsive to ideas and suggestions. I was very impressed, and still am. My goal is to participate at board-level in advancing the course and mission of IWRC, to bring my skills and experience to be utilized for the intelligent and scientific advancement of the health, welfare, and well-being of all wildlife in human care.

Describe a specific area of interest or a particular passion within the scope of IWRC's mission.

Rescue, rehabilitation and release of wild psittacines and passerines, are of intense interest to me. However, the consequences of anthropogenic damage to habitats, entire ecosystems; the impact of animal trafficking on population status, health, welfare and well-being on individuals, flocks, and of all wildlife and flora requires urgent attention from all of us, regardless of specific interest. Wildlife rehabilitators act as first-responders in this global crisis, and I am dedicated to helping foster data collection, progressive and modern techniques, bridging gaps with other disciplines.

Describe a skill that you have that has been surprisingly useful to your work as a wildlife rehabilitator? (or as an IWRC board member?)

MacGyvering skills (both physical and intellectual) have been of great value, when added to professional and technical training.

Describe a project or accomplishment that you consider to be the most significant in your career.

Bringing awareness of cruelty to wildlife and avians to the professional animal cruelty community.

If you could choose, who would you have as a mentor?  

So many people to choose from, and I submit two: Dr. Sylvia Earle and my 3rd-grade teacher, Miss Clothier.

If you were to do something else professionally, what would it be?

I would study terrestrial crabs.

If you could be a wild animal, which would you be?

I would probably be a wild Rosy-faced Lovebird, screaming in the desert. Bossy, matriarchal, loud, obnoxious, stubborn and passionate in defense of friends, family, and conceptual philosophy. I aspire to be other beings but that is likely the truthful representation. I would like to be a sweet, lovely kakapo; but….

What is the thing for which you have waited in line the longest?

I waited more than 5 years to be selected as a nest-minding volunteer for the Kakapo Recovery Team in New Zealand.

What excites you so much that it keeps you awake the night before?

Working with wild psittacine issues of any sort. Planning about how to ameliorate the lack of interest and public knowledge of cruelty to urban wildlife. Thinking about the impact of natural and anthropogenic disasters on rehabbers, rehabilitation facilities, animal and plant populations and ecosystems, and what my personal role can be to greatest effect.

Describe any companion animals that you share your home and life with.

An intense, serious, older wild-caught Timneh African Grey Parrot, about whose life I wonder and I shudder to think of his experiences from a captured and abused chick, through his adulthood in captivity, and various owners. He now is released from slavery and owns himself.

A middle-aged Congo African Grey Parrot, beautiful and sweet. He knows nothing of the wild except what is in his genes.

A middle-aged Lineolated Parakeet, whose grandparents were illegally trafficked into the USA, inbred, and sold as objects.
An intelligent, demanding and personable Blue-crowned Conure.

All of them, and the many birds that have shared my home were the result of confiscation, re-homing, abandonment, relinquishment due to poor health resulting from captivity, adopted from poor conditions, poverty, lack of veterinary funds, ignorance. I wish that each and everyone one of them had been allowed to flourish as the member of a wild flock and unmolested for their natural lifespan. I am dedicated to seeing that this dream will come true for all wildlife.

Case study: methods and observations of overwintering Eptesicus fuscus with White-Nose Syndrome in Ohio, USA

Molly C Simonis 1,2 Rebecca A Crow,2 and Megan A Rúa1

1 Department of Biological Sciences, Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio, USA

2 Brukner Nature Center Troy, Ohio, USA

ABSTRACT: Temperate, cave-dwelling bat populations in eastern North America are facing drastic declines due to the emergent disease called White-Nose Syndrome (WNS). In Ohio, USA, wildlife rehabilitators may accept native bats during the winter months when bats are typically hibernating. During the winter months, this deadly fungal infection is the most damaging to individual hibernating, temperate bats’ physical and physiological condition, because the bats are more vulnerable to disease while their immune response is low during hibernation. Here, we provide observations and methods for successful care and release of overwintering bats with WNS. In the winter of 2016, we administered simple topical treatments and visually investigated patterns during the care of nine Eptesicus fuscus, assumed to be infected with Pseudogymnoascus destructans through visual confirmation of orange-yellow fluorescence under ultraviolet light and fungal culture. We developed systematic methods for infected-bat husbandry that led to the successful release of seven of the nine big brown bats treated.

KEYWORDS: bats, Eptesicus fuscus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, WhiteNose Syndrome, wildlife disease, wildlife rehabilitation

Weigh in on the Proposed Revision to the List of Protected Migratory Bird Species, 50 CFR Part 10.13

Good day Rehab Partners,

Just wanted to be sure you were aware of the proposed revision to 50 CFR Part 10.13 The List of Migratory Birds currently appearing in the Federal Register:  https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=FWS-HQ-MB-2018-0047-0001

This rule would update the current list of migratory birds protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), based on scientific changes to bird taxonomy (i.e., common names, scientific names, families, etc.) and increase the number of MBTA protected birds to 1085 species.  The list is formulated by the scientific community, specifically the American Ornithologists’ Society’s Checklist of North American Birds (AOU 1998), for species that occur in North America. This list enables the public to know which species are protected and which species are not, thereby preventing confusion and potential conservation and enforcement issues.

Comment period closes on January 28, 2019.

Thank you!

Sincerely,

Resee Collins

USFWS Liaison to IWRC and NWRA
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Migratory Bird Program

2018 USFWS Year End Reports Announcement

It’s that time of year again… Annual Reports of activity for Federal Rehabilitation, Special Purpose Possession and Eagle Exhibition permit are due to your Regional U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Permit Issuing Office postmarked on/by Thursday, January 31, 2019.  If your permit expires March 31, 2019, you may receive an annual report form and renewal letter via regular mail from now through the end of December.

Annual Report Forms are fillable online but still require an original signature and to be submitted via mail to your migratory bird permit issuing office unless your region allows electronic submission through email. Here’s what Regions accept information via email:

  • Regions 1 (Pacific) and 8 (Pacific Southwest) accept emailed Annual Reports, Renewals and Applications
  • Regions 2 (Southwest),  3 (Midwest) and 5 (Northeast) accept emailed Annual Reports
  • Regions 4 (Southeast), 6 (Mountain-Prairie) and 7 (Alaska) do not accept emailed versions of annual reports, renewals or applications

Information for Renewals and about Live Bird Possession.

Any permits that authorize possession of live migratory birds and eagles are renewed based on your facilities for specific numbers and specific species only, and you are not authorized to possess any live birds for educational or other activities other than those listed on your permit.

 

Updated photographs/diagrams of enclosures for housing migratory birds and eagles for display and for rehabilitation purposes, as well as updated information about the individual responsible for the daily care of these migratory birds/eagles, is also required as part of your permit renewal procedure, unless you have submitted this facility information within the past 3-5 years (3 years for Possession/Eagle Exhibition permits; 5 years for Rehabilitation permits).

 

Transfer Form Information.

Instructions for adding/deleting a live bird for Possession or Eagle Exhibition permits are listed on the chart on page 2 on the Migratory Bird Special Purpose Possession (Education) Permit Acquisition & Transfer Request Form 3-202-12, found directly at https://www.fws.gov/forms/3-202-12.pdf.  Please remember that rehabilitators are required to complete this form if they are requesting to transfer a non-releasable migratory bird to an exempt facility or to a Special Purpose Possession permittee for educational purposes, but this form is not required if the bird is being transferred to another federally permitted rehabilitator for continued rehabilitation.

 

Transfer Form and Annual Report Copies.

If you need an extra annual report form copy or if your report form arrives damaged, please look for annual report forms listed under their respective federal permit names in the “REPORT FORMS” section at  https://www.fws.gov/birds/policies-and-regulations/permits/need-a-permit.php

The most common Annual Report types include:

Rehabilitation Form 3-202-4

Special Purpose Possession Live/Dead Form 3-202-5

Eagle Exhibition Form 3-202-13

Additional Annual Report forms for other federal permits including Scientific CollectingSpecial Purpose Salvage, etc. are also included on this website.

 

Permit Questions.

Do you have permit questions or need an address or email for mailing your report?  To contact any Regional Migratory Bird Permit Issuing Office, visit https://www.fws.gov/birds/policies-and-regulations/permits/regional-permit-contacts.php

Miscellaneous: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Permit Applications and Website Revised!

Most links listed here will work through Google, Firefox or other browsers, but may not be accessible through Windows Explorer at this time.

 

Thank you for everything you do to conserve America's wildlife and wild lands!

Sincerely,

Resee Collins
USFWS Liaison to IWRC and NWRA
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Migratory Bird Program

Case study: the use of falconry techniques in raptor rehabilitation

Kristin Madden  1,2 and Matthew Mitchell1

1U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southwest Region, Migratory Birds Program, Albuquerque, NM, USA.

2Wildlife Rescue Inc. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA

ABSTRACT

We predicted that certain falconry techniques would decrease stress and the time required to pre-condition raptors for release. Between 2008 and 2014, we alternated use of traditional rehabilitation procedures with falconry techniques on 45 raptors. Twenty-seven birds were alternately restrained using either a towel or a falconry hood. Results from t-tests showed significant decreases in stress with the use of falconry hoods vs. towels. Twenty-six accipiters and falcons were either held in pet carriers or hooded and perched on falconry blocks. All 14 tethered birds retained excellent feather and cere condition. Of the 12 birds kept in pet carriers, none were in excellent condition and eight showed more than one category of damage. Twentyeight birds were either provided with the traditional cage flight conditioning, flown on a creance, or conditioned through specialized strength building exercises called “Jump-Ups.” An additional three birds were conditioned using a combination of Jump-Ups and creance flight. Cage flight alone required considerably, though not statistically significant, more conditioning time before release in most cases. Creance flight and Jump-Ups were similar in time required for conditioning when used alone. However, a combination of creance and Jump-Ups for three birds required far more time than either method alone.

KEYWORDS: conditioning, creance, falconry, raptors, rehabilitation, wildlife rehabilitation

Call for Comments and Suggestions

Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation

The National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA) and the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC) are starting the process of revising the fourth edition of Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation (MSWR). Both organizations wish to get input from as many people as possible—rehabilitators, veterinarians, governing agencies, and others directly involved in the rehabilitation of wildlife.

The primary goal of MSWR is to improve the welfare of wildlife in rehabilitation. We aim to continue to add to and improve upon the information in the book for the benefit of all rehabilitators and the wildlife in their care.

In order to understand the current use of MSWR and then to improve the document as much as we can, we would like your input! You can do this by filling out the Survey Monkey form (specifically, question #4, but please complete the entire survey!) found at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BRNB92P

Please submit any and all changes or additions you feel should be addressed. All suggestions are reviewed thoroughly and considered seriously. Input can include suggested edits to the current edition, additions or deletions to existing material, or new text suggestions that would add to the foundation of knowledge in this book.

So that we may organize everyone’s input, please follow the format listed below.

For each comment or suggestion, please give:

  • Chapter number and title, and the edition to which you are referring (if applicable)
  • Your input; be as descriptive and complete as possible
  • If applicable, list data, resources, references, and reasons supporting your input

Suggestions and thoughts are welcomed through November 30, 2018, after which time the editors are at work evaluating every comment received and working on the fifth edition.

Thank you for your comments. Your commitment to wildlife in need and to furthering the science and standards of wildlife rehabilitation are greatly appreciated!

Tulelake National Wildlife Refuge: Avian botulism outbreak

Bird Ally X is managing an Avian Botulism outbreak on site at the Tulelake National Wildlife Refuge in Northern California and has an immediate need for volunteers to help care for impacted wildlife. Avian botulism is a strain of botulism that affects wild bird populations, most notably waterfowl and is not contagious. This is an opportunity to learn the foundational skills of wildlife rehabilitation and help care for local wildlife by providing supportive care.

Volunteers duties will include rescue transport, handling patients for exam, preparing food, cleaning & preparing enclosures, washing dishes, laundry, and cage construction.

Volunteer requirements:

• Be sensitive to reducing captive wildlife stress

• Be 18 years of age or older • Be in good health.  People who are immune compromised should not work  directly with animals but are welcome to help with transport. 

• Be able to lift 50 lbs.  

• Must wear closed-toe shoes

• Ability to work as part of a team, be positive, fun & have good work ethic


The working conditions are outside and may involve hard physical labor.  Please bring a water bottle and wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty.

If you’re interested in helping some amazing birds. please email John Fitzroy, USF&W Klamath Basin NWRC Visitor Services Manager, john_fitzroy@fws.gov or January Bill, Wildlife Rehabilitator, Bird Ally X @ jb@birdallyx.net

Intent Not Result—Drives US Migratory Bird Treaty Act Interpretation

Part I (March 2018)

On December 22, 2017, the US Department of the Interior released a new interpretation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), which does not prohibit incidental take. In addition, the US House of Representatives introduced a bill in November (HR 4239) which similarly removes protections from animals affected by the energy industry (oil spills, turbine issues, etc).

Read more about both initiatives courtesy of the American Bird Conservancy and learn about actions you can take.

Listen to Bye, Bye, Birdies? a 35 min podcast where several experts discuss the MBTA and the changes.

Part II (May 2018)

US rehabilitators may recall the recent reinterpretation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) that we reported on this Winter. It is no longer the result of an activity, but instead its intent that matters in regards to the MBTA. Stated plainly if birds, eggs, or nests are destroyed by an activity, but the purpose of that activity was not to destroy the birds, eggs, or nests, then the MBTA does not apply.

Wildlife rehabilitators in the US should be aware of this change when speaking to the public about legal interactions with wildlife. Unfortunately, the presence of a nesting bird no longer means it is against the law to take down a building. We can still counsel the public on best practices, and encourage them to act in the animal's interest, but we cannot say the action is illegal if the purpose is not to kill the bird(s). To help wildlife professionals navigate this new interpretation the USFWS has kindly issued a 7-page memorandum.

Additional communications are expected this summer regarding wildlife rehabilitation specific guidance.

In the meantime, IWRC is interested in hearing how this interpretation is affecting the day to day work of US rehabilitators.