Friday, November 14, 2014
Basics of Wildlife Rehabilitation
This workshop is designed for newly permitted rehabilitators and for those considering entering the wildlife rehabilitation field. The day-long workshop includes both lectures and hands-on learning. Multiple instructors provide participants with an introduction to wildlife rehabilitation. Topics include the permitting process, talking to the public about common wildlife scenarios, nutrition, basic husbandry, physical examinations, record-keeping, and fluid therapy. Information on obtaining supplies and equipment will also be included, and instructors will highlight a variety of reputable resources for continued learning. Participants receive a certificate of attendance worth six CE credits.
Saturday, November 15, 2014
Anything and Everything Squirrel
From orphaned pinkies to hefty adults … fast and furious releases … and any ailments or injury in between or beyond, this session gives the squirrel its due. Routine calls, as well as unusual questions regarding our friend (and potential victim or troublemaker) the squirrel, will be discussed. This interactive class will help us stock our rehab knowledge toolbox with "what to do's" in any squirrel situation. The squirrel … some people can't live with them, and most wildlife rehabilitators can't live without them.
Linda Bergman-Althouse, Wildlife Rehabilitators of North Carolina
Keep Calm and Carrion: Vultures in Rehabilitation and Education
Throughout history, the vulture has been idolized, feared, and often misunderstood. This presentation will address this unique bird’s natural history and how it can be applied in rehabilitation and education. Attention will be given to the care of both chicks and adults, with a focus on commonly seen problems and solutions.
Jackie Kozlowski, Animal Behavior & Conservation Connections and Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, DE; Sharon Burke, Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, DE
Reuniting Small Mammals: Lessons from the Field
Reuniting young mammals with their parent(s) is a central component of the work done by Humane Wildlife Services, a service which specializes in humane wildlife conflict resolution. This presentation will review the techniques and strategies used by HWS personnel to reunite dependent young with their parent and will review video examples of squirrels, raccoons, and other frequently encountered species. The reuniting protocols and methods employed by HWS can be adapted and utilized by wildlife rehabilitators to reduce unnecessary intake of healthy animals and help ensure long-term survival of dependent young.
John Griffin, Humane Wildlife Services
Lead Poisoning and Starting a Non-Lead Hunting Outreach Program
An effective way to decrease the incidence of lead poisoning in wildlife is hunter and angler education. In 2012, the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Nova Scotia started an information based outreach program for hunters and anglers encouraging voluntary transition to non-lead ammunition and fishing tackle. This ongoing effort has resulted in positive and groundbreaking results and initiatives. This discussion will summarize the main issues and background knowledge required to deliver a balanced science-based presentation. When these outreach programs are delivered in a manner that seeks common ground, cooperation between groups can result in positive change.
Dr. Helene Van Doninck, Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, NS
Virginia Wildlife Conflict Helpline
The Virginia Wildlife Conflict Helpline, a collaborative effort between the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and the USDA APHIS Wildlife Services program, was developed to provide a central source of assistance to Virginia’s residents who are experiencing wildlife conflicts or have questions about wildlife damage. Callers to the toll-free helpline are able to receive prompt, expert advice and assistance to resolve their wildlife conflicts. This presentation will include information about wildlife conflicts reported to the helpline and how specialists refer and respond to calls.
Jennifer Cromwell, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, APHIS, Wildlife Services
Monitoring Virginia’s Amphibians and Reptiles: An Overview of Conservation Surveillance and Solutions
With more than 84 species of amphibians and 66 species of reptiles, Virginia has an especially rich herpetofaunal heritage. Yet, more than one third of species are threatened by habitat degradation and loss, unsustainable use, pollution, and disease. Working with universities and other institutions, NGOs and federal and state partners, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries is supporting research to surveil, assess, and monitor the conservation status of more than a dozen species or communities of amphibians and reptiles in the Commonwealth. Tom Akre, a wildlife ecologist at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, will present an overview of several of these projects, including species of all major taxa from across Virginia.
Dr. Tom Akre, Smithsonian-Mason School of Conservation, SCBI, VA
Camera Monitoring Study and Strategies to Mitigate Wildlife-Vehicle Collisions
This presentation will provide an overview of successful measures to mitigate animal-vehicle collisions and will describe an ongoing study to identify strategies to reduce collisions with deer and black bear along Interstate 64 in Virginia. With the use of motion-triggered cameras placed along sections of the interstate, the study will provide the Virginia Department of Transportation with recommendations to implement mitigation along areas with high deer and black bear activity.
Bridget Donaldson, Virginia DOT
Raccoon Roundworm and Risk Factors for Exposure in Wildlife Rehabilitators
Baylisascaris procyonis, the raccoon roundworm, is a zoonotic parasite and a cause of severe neurologic disease in more than 130 wildlife species. Many of the 30 diagnosed human cases were fatal or resulted in severe neurologic complications; nearly all were in children who likely ingested large numbers of parasite eggs in raccoon feces. We hypothesized that healthy adult human at-risk individuals may have asymptomatic infections resulting from accidental ingestion of low numbers of eggs. Wildlife rehabilitators may be at higher risk for exposure because of frequent contact with raccoons and their feces. Serum samples from 273 wildlife rehabilitators from 33 states and three Canadian provinces were tested for antibodies to B.procyonis; study participants also filled out a questionnaire on their wildlife and raccoon contact to assess possible risk factors. Overall, 19 participants (7%) were positive for antibodies to B. procyonis, of which 13 (68%) had actively rehabilitated raccoons in the past year. This class will review the study and results, and will also focus on next steps to understand the educational needs of the rehabilitation community.
Sarah Sapp, Southeastern Cooperative Wildlife Disease Study, UGA
It’s All It’s Cracked Up to Be: A Turtle Shell Fracture Repair Lab* [Two-hour lab]
Repairing turtle fractures can be both frustrating and rewarding. The goal of this lab is to decrease your frustration and increase your confidence in putting the puzzle pieces of a shell back together using materials that are inexpensive and easy to use. This lab will cover prognostic indicators, materials, and the procedure of shell fracture repair.
Dr. Helen Ingraham, Wildlife Center of Virginia
ABC's of Rehabilitating the Striped Skunk
A distinctive self-defense mechanism is not the only challenge presented by the Striped Skunk. Basic rules of rehabilitation often need to be altered to accommodate this unique species. This presentation includes discussions on infant care, diet, common diseases and parasites, and housing, with an emphasis on practical tips of what works to rehabilitate skunks successfully.
Peggy Hentz, Red Creek Wildlife Center, PA
Using an App to Help Injured and Distressed Wildlife
Animal Help Now (AHNow) features a groundbreaking website and free smartphone app that assists people who have encountered orphaned, injured and distressed wildlife in finding the nearest, most appropriate help, 24/7. AHNow features wildliferehabilitators, hotlines and rescues, as well as humane wildlife control, and veterinarians who treat wildlife. In June 2014, AHNow expanded its wildlife functionality from Colorado and Texas across the entire United States. This class will cover current functionality and benefits for rehabbers, lessons learned in the national expansion, interaction aimed at improving the user experience, and thoughts on better meeting rehabbers’ needs, including plans to expand our assistance to the wildlife rehabilitation community.
Elena Rizzo, Animal Help Now, CO
Sunday, November 16, 2014
Wildlife Rehabilitators and the VDGIF, BoP, and BVM: What You Need to Know
The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries has recently updated the wildlife rehabilitation permit conditions to comply with Board of Pharmacy and Board of Veterinary Medicine rules and regulations and to align with the fourth edition of the National Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Association “Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation”. New permit conditions and concepts will be addressed and time will be allotted for questions from the wildlife rehabilitation community.
Dr. Megan Kirchgessner and Jim Husband, Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries
Maximizing Education Programs through Improved Management of Non-releasable and Captive-Bred Birds
The use of live birds to enhance education programs is a powerful tool that can leave a lasting impression on our audience. The key to a successful program is healthy, comfortable, and confident birds. This presentation will focus on the philosophy behind training and how to apply these concepts to the daily interactions with our animals. Discussion will also address problem behaviors. The overall objective should be working with birds utilizing safe handling procedures and positive training programs that minimize stress and maximize success.
Jackie Kozlowski, Animal Behavior & Conservation Connections and Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, DE
The WCV Research Review: A Summary of our Recent Studies and Ongoing Projects
Research is an important component of the Wildlife Center of Virginia’s mission. Throughout the Center’s history, we have published more than 75 articles in peer-reviewed and rehabilitation journals on a wide range of wildlife and conservation topics. This talk will discuss some of our most recent findings and current research projects.
Dr. Dave McRuer, Wildlife Center of Virginia
Birds: It’s All about the Poop!
This lecture will be an inclusive class about raising injured and orphaned birds, ranging from Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds to Yellow-Billed Cuckoos to Pileated Woodpeckers. The class will include information about diet requirements for a variety of bird species, live caging demonstrations, food and brand recommendation, and advice on raising difficult species (including Carolina Wrens and Chimney Swifts). Learn the tips and tricks of avian rehabilitation from the “bird nerds” from Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center.
Sabrina Garvin, Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center
Feathers, Tails, and Scales: Physical Therapy for All
Soft tissue and orthopedic injuries are some of the most common reasons why wildlife present to rehabilitation facilities. The goal of this lecture is to emphasize the impact physical therapy can provide to return patients to normal function and improve prognosis for release. The lecture will cover indications, description of exercises, housing considerations, and laser therapy for avian patients and will also include brief discussion for reptilian and mammalian counterparts.
Dr. Meghan Feeney, Wildlife Center of Virginia
Eating on the Fly! Basics of Raising Aerial Insectivores
In the summer of 2010, Tri-State Bird Rescue admitted 68 fledgling Purple Martins, roughly five times the annual average. The majority of these birds arrived in a 72-hour period, so by necessity, many lessons were learned that summer. This presentation will address the defining characteristics of an aerial insectivore, the various species that comprise this unique guild along with challenges their populations face, and most importantly, how rehabilitators can use the species' natural histories to improve husbandry and optimize feeding success of these young birds.
Sharon Burke, Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, DE
Principles of Enrichment (lecture)
Are you interested in providing environmental enrichment for your patients and education ambassadors but aren’t sure where to start? Join us for a presentation about the basics of environmental enrichment in a rehabilitation setting. Learn the principles of enrichment, and find some ideas that you can implement with the animals in your care.
Amber Dedrick, Wildlife Center of Virginia
Cleaning up your Triage with S.O.A.P.
The focus of this presentation will be basic triage from a veterinary medicine point of view using the S.O.A.P. format. Using SOAP (Subjective, Objective, Assessment, Plan) will help rehabbers organize information gathered during triage and will make it easier to share the information with others involved in the care of that wild patient. Cases will be presented showing how to use SOAP from admission through the stabilization period.
Dr. Diane D’Orazio, Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center
Wondering about Whistlepigs?
Do you get calls about orphaned woodchucks (a.k.a. “whistlepigs” or “groundhogs”) but pass them on to other rehabbers because you’ve never raised them before? Not sure what the proper protocol is? This presentation will introduce you to the world of raising and releasing woodchucks. You’ll be more prepared when you get the call “I’ve found a baby groundhog. What should I do?” Woodchucks are amazing creatures, and a joy to raise. If you already raise other rodents (like squirrels), you’re halfway there. There are plenty of advice and shared tips and tricks in this presentation to make you feel like you can raise whistlepigs, too.
Lynn Oliver, Valley Wildlife Care Inc., VA
Be Critical -- Be Very, Very Critical
Fine tune your "baloney detectors"! This session focuses on critical consumption of journal articles (including rehab journals) and media. We’ll discuss the difference between anecdote and data, and how and when anecdote BECOMES data. Sound boring? It won’t be!
Leslie Sturges, The Save Lucy Campaign, VA
Principles of Enrichment Workshop* [Two-hour workshop]
This workshop will provide participants with the opportunity to practice making simple enrichment items for the animals in your care from easy-to-acquire materials. Exchange ideas with other rehabilitators as you create fun enrichment items, and take home a few simple items for your patients or education animals!
Amber Dedrick, Wildlife Center of Virginia
The Success inside You
In a few short years, Red Creek Wildlife Center transformed from a volunteer, home-based, self-supported rehab hobby to a self-sustaining professional wildlife center with paid staff members. A change in perspective can be the first step in realizing your dream of making wildlife rehabilitation a life-long career. This entertaining hour will help you realize that the “poor rehabilitator” is a myth … and gives you the tools to bust it!
Peggy Hentz, Red Creek Wildlife Center, PA