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Participate in Research

  Researchers are interested in studying wildlife and wildlife rehabilitation and they need our help. Click on one of the below studies to learn more and see what you can contribute!

Plains Spotted Skunk Distribution and Threats

COVID Restrictions Survey

COVID-19 and Zoonotic Exposure Research

Lead Poisoning in Bald Eagles

Mange Trends in North America

Comparative Ocular Study

Plains Spotted Skunk Distribution and Threats

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is assessing if the plains spotted skunk should be federally protected. We would like to know if you have ever encountered plains spotted skunks in your rehabilitation work and, if so, why the animals were brought to you (e.g., car strike, dog attack, orphaned young), so that we can learn more about the distribution of the subspecies and the threats they face.

We are asking wildlife rehabilitators in Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin, or Wyoming to share any of the following plains spotted skunk information that you may have to assist in this process:

1. County-level location from which plains spotted skunk patient(s) originated. This is the locality that the animal was found, not the address of the finder or the wildlife rehabilitator providing care.

2. Reason for admittance (e.g., hit by car, dog attack, orphaned young, canine distemper). 

3. Any condition notes related to the patient while in your care.

4. For patients that were released or relocated, county-level release location and year of release.

Submission instructions and complete Request for Information (includes images of the plains spotted skunk and similar species)



COVID Rehabilitation Restrictions Survey

University of Georgia student, and aspiring wildlife rehabilitator, Lindsey has developed a short survey for her senior thesis. Our hope is to better understand the impacts of the COVID pandemic has had on your ability to rehabilitate wildlife. We have heard that there are restrictions in place for some states, there are more or fewer animals being admitted because of different reasons, that some places still remain closed – we hope that this survey will help us understand the overall impacts. Please spare a few minutes to fill out and *share* our survey at Our goal is to get as many people to participate by the end of the year so Lindsey can begin data analysis in the spring semester. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at    


COVID-19 and Zoonotic Exposure Survey

Dr. Anne Rimoin and her team in the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Department of Epidemiology invite you to participate in the Veterinary and Zoonotic Surveillance for SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) and Other Coronaviruses Study, a study of animal healthcare and welfare workers, to assess their potential exposures to SARS-CoV-2 and other zoonotic pathogens, clinical symptoms, mental health, and attitudes and practices associated with the pandemic response. The study will consist of online monthly questionnaires (est. time of completion is 30 min for the baseline survey and 10 min for all follow-up surveys), with the potential for future engagement for antibody testing and other research as funding becomes available, should you indicate your interest in being contacted for that.  Through participation in this study, you will:

  • Receive periodic summary reports of study findings
  • Have an opportunity to participate in future COVID-related and other zoonoses-related research (including COVID-19 antibody testing, should funding become available)
  • Inform public health understanding of infection risks to veterinary workers and how to best protect them

Dr. Rimoin is very interested in building a long-term partnership with animal healthcare and welfare workers to engage with on future COVID-19 research as well as future research about zoonotic diseases. Her team hopes to use our findings from this research to inform One Health policy efforts to protect animal healthcare and welfare workers from infection with zoonotic diseases.  For more information and to enroll, please visit this link. Additionally, the study flyer with more information is attached.  

Lead Poisoning in Bald Eagles

I am conducting a survey to review and summarize current lead toxicity diagnostic and therapeutic protocols as well as outcomes for lead-poisoned Bald Eagles across multiple rehabilitation centers in the U.S.

Your participation in this survey will help the rehabilitation community have a broader understanding of diagnostic and treatment protocols in use and outcomes for lead-poisoned Bald Eagles.

Through evaluation of the responses, I hope to also identify rehabilitation centers which would be ideal candidates to participate in a post-release survival study, for which I will be applying for a grant.

The survey consists of 28 questions; one of which asks for numeric data from your center, which  may take a bit more time to complete. The rest of the survey should only take about 10-15 minutes. Should you choose not to share numeric data from your center, you may opt not to answer that question. Please limit data to only those patients with confirmed (vs. suspected) lead toxicity. The deadline for response to the survey is the end of August.

Your submission of the completed survey will be taken as informed consent to use the results in possible future presentations or publications. If you have any questions about the questionnaire or the process, please email me at

Survey: Study run by Sarah Lautzenhiser, DVM, Partners for Wildlife: Veterinarian Fellow Private Practice Veterinarian & Veterinarian of Record for REGI


Mange trends in North America through space and time

We are wildlife disease researchers looking to combine records from rehabilitation centers across the US and Canada of animals that have been treated for sarcoptic mange (mite Sarcoptes scabiei) to assess patterns in mange cases through space and time. Records of mammals that have not been affected by mange are also sought to act as a reference. We are hoping for records with information including: species, pick-up location, year, month, mange afflicted, mite identification information (if available), symptom descriptions, among others. Facilities/rehabbers with >2 years of records are of particular interest, as we hope to compare trends through time. Please feel free to contact Drs. Christopher Kozakiewicz and Alynn Martin at with questions or comments.


Comparative Ocular Study

The Comparative Ocular Pathology Laboratory of Wisconsin is looking for specimens for their research library. They are specifically looking for formalin – fixed heads of recently dead (no more than three hours) of the following:

  • Screech Owl head

Please contact Dick Dubielzig at or visit for more information.    

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