Call of the Wild 2020

Friday, November 20

Topics in Wildlife Medicine Session

Into the Eye** [30 mins]
In this lecture, discussion focuses on the fundamental parts of an ocular exam in avian, mammalian, and reptilian patients. The use of different ocular therapies are highlighted, as well as prognosis for common ocular abnormalities. 
Karra Pierce, DVM, Wildlife Center of Virginia

Necropsy (Animal Autopsy): Uses, Limitations, & Basic Procedure** [30 mins]
A necropsy is an examination of a body, post-mortem, to identify abnormalities and help determine the cause of death. Gross evaluation of the organs and internal structures can provide clues on what processes may have contributed to death; however, many times further diagnostics may be necessary. This talk focuses on the uses and limitations of necropsy and introduces the basic procedure and normal findings. NOTE: this will likely have graphic photos that may be uncomfortable for some viewers.
Cameron Berg, DVM, Wildlife Center of Virginia

Necropsy (Animal Autopsy) Lab Demonstration: Basic Procedure** [60 mins]   
This demonstration is a companion to the Animal Autopsy lecture and focuses on a basic procedure of a necropsy. NOTE: this will have graphic content that may be uncomfortable for some viewers.
Cameron Berg, DVM, Wildlife Center of Virginia

Battling Bugs with More Than Baytril: A Rehabilitator’s Guide to the Educated Use of Antibiotics in Wildlife** [60 mins]
This talk provides basic information about how antibiotics work, as well as when and how to select an antibiotic for use in a wild animal.
Nicki Rosenhagen, DVM, Progressive Animal Welfare Society

Triaging the Wildlife Patient** ++ [120 minutes]              
Wildlife rehabilitators deal with an enormous array of ages, species, and medical problems in their patients. At admission, it is important to efficiently determine which patients will not recover so they can be humanely euthanized, saving them from unnecessary suffering.  In a case-based, interactive format, this seminar discusses how to triage spinal-injury patients as well as many other common wildlife patient presentations. The goal of the presentation is to help rehabilitators learn which patients have the best chance of being released and which should be euthanized on admission.
Renee Schott, DVM, CWR, Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota

Beginner Rehabilitation Session

Get Involved with Wildlife Rehabilitation++ [30 mins]
Interested in rehabilitating wildlife, but not sure where to start?  Discover ways to get involved, including how to become a permitted wildlife rehabilitator. Discussion includes defining the role of a rehabilitator, the rehabilitator’s code of ethics, applicable wildlife laws, and other considerations on becoming a wildlife rehabilitator. While the specific regulations vary depending on where you live, the information in this presentation is applicable to anyone interested in helping wildlife!
Maggie McCartney, Wildlife Center of Virginia

Medical Math for the Wildlife Rehabilitator [120 minutes]
This medical math course takes the participant from the very simple to the complex in an understandable and easy-to-follow structured learning experience. Topics include: mastering drug dosing, metric conversions, reading syringes, interpreting drug labeling, diluting medications, reading prescriptions, determining stomach capacity, fluid therapy, and calculating caloric need. This course includes a 30-page workbook.
Peggy Hentz, Red Creek Wildlife Center

Wild Fostering: The Fundamental Process++ [30 mins]  
Wild fostering is the process of placing orphaned wildlife with conspecific families in the wild. This procedure can greatly reduce the workload placed on rehabilitators and also increases the chance of survival for many orphans. This presentation highlights the fundamental steps and considerations of placing orphans back into wild families.
Lydia Sancetta, Wildlife Center of Virginia

Public Outreach Session

Dealing with the Public Without Losing Your Cool++ [60 mins]  
This class is a comical presentation on how to handle THOSE people. Discussion includes tips and survival strategies for dealing with difficult personalities and social media, and also includes advice on how to de-stress, so your day isn’t ruined.
Peggy Hentz, Red Creek Wildlife Center

Fostering Coexistence with Wildlife in Your Community++ [60 mins]
Wildlife rehabilitators not only play a crucial role in rescuing and caring for wildlife in a community but  also are integral to providing information to the public on solving wildlife conflicts.  In fact, rehabilitators have never been more important in educating the public on how to coexist with wildlife.  Learn more about providing good information that will help the public better understand wild animals and the positive role that wildlife play in their neighborhoods. Overall, this presentation helps attendees provide and implement comprehensive conflict resolution advice that prevents unnecessary lethal control, helps prevent orphaning [reducing the burden on rehabilitators], and saves wild animal lives.
John Griffin, Humane Society of the United States

COVID Roundtable

COVID Roundtable: Adapting & Coping [60 mins]
The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally changed all our lives this year – including how we, as wildlife rehabilitators and educators, care for wildlife and interact with the public. Whether at a large-scale center or a smaller at-home facility, many of us have been juggling an increased caseload with less help. Educators have had to fundamentally change their in-person programming, during a time when people are feeling isolated and bored. In this interactive roundtable, we’ll share some perspectives on how COVID-19 has affected us this year, discuss the various ways we’ve adapted, and brainstorm together and think about plans for the future!
Karra Pierce, DVM, Wildlife Center of Virginia
Shannon Mazurowski, CWR, Wildlife Center of Virginia
Lacy Kegley, Wildlife Center of Virginia
Nicki Rosenhagen, DVM, Progressive Animal Welfare Society
Gail Buhl, Partners for Wildlife - University of Minnesota
Linda McDaniel, Augusta Cottontails

Saturday, November 21

General Rehabilitation I Session

Building a Neonatal Incubator++ [30 mins]         
Incubators are an essential but often cost-prohibitive tool for wildlife rehabilitators. This step-by-step presentation illustrates how to build a sizable incubator that suits many species, is easy to maintain and clean, and is very affordable.
Peggy Hentz, Red Creek Wildlife Center

Albinism in Humans & Wildlife: Myths vs Truth [60 mins]
Have you ever gotten an animal with albinism in your rehabilitation or vet practice, but were not sure of its ability to thrive back in the wild once you’ve raised it or helped it heal from trauma? This presentation covers albinism in a general overview of what it is and what it is not, based on this wildlife rehabilitator’s experience with her own son and parental thrust into the world of albinism. The information may help guide you in knowing the right things to consider, based on facts versus the many myths that are out there about being an animal (or human, for that matter) with albinism in a world of normally pigmented beings.
Lynn Oliver, Valley Wildlife Care

Aquatic Freshwater Turtle Shell Repair** ++ [60 mins]
Wild, aquatic freshwater turtles are often brought to wildlife rehabilitators in the spring and summer after sustaining shell fractures due to a vehicle collision. These patients need veterinary and rehabilitative care for these complex traumatic injuries. Topics covered in this interactive lecture include traumatic triage, initial stabilization, shell fixation, tips, tricks and husbandry “musts” to speed recovery.
Renee Schott, DVM, CWR, Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota

Thoughtful Enclosure Design: Creating the Best Environment for Your Patients++ [30 mins]
One of the top priorities is reducing the stress levels of patients in our care.  A great way to do that is to create an enclosure for them that closely mimics their natural habitat. This presentation highlights ideal enclosure designs for commonly admitted species as well as creative ways to use the items you already have on hand to make those enclosures.
Kelsey Pleasants, CWR, Wildlife Center of Virginia

Education Session

Virtual Programming: Theory & Concepts [30 mins]
Educational communication is an essential aspect of wildlife rehabilitation, yet the audiences we seek to connect with are physically distanced this year. The solution? Online education and virtual learning: it’s more engaging, more relevant, and more important than ever before. Understanding the core principles of virtual education from a wildlife rehabilitation perspective can help strengthen our connections with the public -- this year, and far into the future.
Alex Wehrung, Wildlife Center of Virginia

Virtual Programming: Execution & Delivery [30 mins]   
This lecture covers the logistics of execution and delivery of online programs. Discussion will include subject matter for online programs as well as what equipment to use, with the goal of helping participants with the tangible side of online education.
Lauren Edzenga, Wildlife Center of Virginia

Classical Conditioning [30 mins]
Classical conditioning is a great tool to have when training your animals. Understand what classical conditioning is beyond Pavlov’s dog, how it works, and how to practically apply it for counter-conditioning to help your animal overcome its fears.
Debbie Sykes, Nashville Wildlife Conservation Center

It's All About Choices: Making Small Changes to Positively Impact the Welfare of our Animals++ [60 mins]
We all want to provide the best quality of life for the animals in our care, but sometimes we miss the mark a bit on providing them one of their most basic needs: the opportunity to make choices. This presentation discusses ways – most very simple – that you can provide your ambassador animals with more choice and control in their lives and thus a higher quality of life. See several examples that you can apply right away with your ambassadors.
Melissa Moore, New Mexico Wildlife Center

Lunch with DWR

Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources Panel Discussion** ++ [60 mins]
The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) conserves and manages wildlife populations and habitat. DWR also administers the permitting and regulatory processes involved with wildlife rehabilitation in Virginia. This interactive discussion emphasizes the ways that DWR and wildlife rehabilitators can work together, and a large portion of the hour will be available for a question-and-answer session with our DWR panelists.
Aaron Proctor & Becky Gwynn, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources

Mammals Session

Triage & Initial Stabilization of Orphaned Wild Mammals** ++ [60 mins]             
This presentation covers the basics of triaging orphaned mammals, from preparing for the incoming patient to initial assessment and stabilization of these wild mammals.
Halley Buckanoff, CVT, North Carolina Zoo's Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Unusual Small Mammals of Virginia & How to Care for Them ++ [60 mins]          
Mammal diversity goes well beyond the animals that we typically see in rehabilitation – this isn’t a talk about our familiar opossums, squirrels, and other commonly admitted animals. This lecture focuses on the natural history and identification of East Coast small mammals and how those factors impact their care considerations in rehabilitation. Where do you begin with the identification of a mouse-like critter that you were brought?  How do you tell the difference between an invasive Norway Rat and a declining Allegheny Woodrat? Which small mammal has a venomous bite? What makes shrews and moles so unusual? All of this and more is answered in this talk.
Haley Olsen-Hodges, Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke

Avian Session

Insects: As Foes, Food, & Friends [60 mins]        
As wildlife rehabilitators, we usually think of invertebrates either as a food source for the animals we care for, or as parasitic pests that need to be eliminated. But even when considering food sources, we don’t typically think beyond the use of mealworms, crickets, and other easily propagated insects – but what happens when we look a little deeper? Learn how the COVID-19 pandemic, a single grackle, and an entomology course led the speaker to begin to think differently about insects and how we could better utilize them in practical ways to provide better care for our patients – and both old and emerging science backs these ideas up.
Haley Olsen-Hodges, Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke

Common Complications in Hatchling to Fledgling Songbird Rehabilitation++ [30 mins]  
Ever wonder what are the most common problems for young songbirds in a rehabilitation setting, and how we treat them? This lecture explores several common complications and highlights signs and symptoms of each, as well as causes and solutions. Complications covered include dehydration, external parasites, digestion, knuckling, and more! 
Katie Attas, Wildlife Center of Virginia

The Early Bird Gets the Worm** ++ [30 mins]    
This talk describes the methods used to detect fecal parasites in our wildlife patients, with a focus on a few of the more common host-specific parasites in the avian patients that we see in Virginia. Discussion includes parasite identification, life cycle within the host species, distinguishing characteristics, and common treatments.  
Jessica Dyer, LVT, Wildlife Center of Virginia

Disease Session

Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease: What You Need to Know** ++ [30 mins]  
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV-2) is a foreign animal disease that was confirmed in wild rabbits in the United States for the first time in 2020. To date, all detections in wild rabbits have occurred in southwestern U.S.;  the easternmost detection was confirmed in Texas. Discussion includes the current prevalence of the disease in the United States, including a brief overview on the viral pathophysiology. Learn what to be on the lookout for as a wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian and learn how to properly attempt prevention and disinfection should the virus come your way.
Sarah Sirica, DVM, Wildlife Center of Virginia

Potential Drivers of Bat Population Persistence Despite Continued Prevalence of White-nose Syndrome ++ [30 mins]
P. destructans, the fungal pathogen causing White-nose Syndrome of bats, has led to devastating declines of North American bat populations since its initial introduction. However, following pathogen invasion, some bat populations have stabilized despite continued infections from highly contaminated hibernacula. To conserve North American hibernating bats effectively, it is important to understand factors that contribute to the declines or persistence of bat populations. Here, we review current research on the primary drivers of bat population persistence in the face of White-nose Syndrome.
Nichole Laggan and Alex Grimaudo, Virginia Tech

Sunday, November 22

Nutrition Session

Nutritional Ecology: The Basics for Wildlife Rehabilitation** ++ [90 mins]            
This lecture discusses the basics of wildlife nutrition, including digestive systems and anatomy, macromolecules that make up a complete diet, nutritive value of diets, and responses to plant defenses.  Discussion includes the pros and cons of a naturally foraged diet and a commercial diet for the recovering wildlife patient.  Systems will be highlighted; this lecture focuses on herbivores and how they digest plant material.
Tamara Johnstone-Yellin, PhD, Bridgewater College

Formula: What Is It & Why Do We Use It? [60 mins]       
Take a journey through time to trace the history of milk-replacement formulas, then explore the principles of modern formula manufacture, what is and isn't known about wild mammal milk composition, and why no one has a perfect formula. Discussion includes some traditional homemade formula components and provides resources for further study. You won't walk away knowing which is the “best” formula, but you'll have enough background to make wise choices and know when a formula isn't working.
Leslie Sturges, The Save Lucy Campaign

Nutritional Imbalances in Wildlife** ++ [60 mins]           
This lecture reviews the pathophysiology of some of the most common nutritional imbalances encountered in wildlife in captive care settings and offers information on diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.
Nicki Rosenhagen, DVM, Progressive Animal Welfare Society

General Wildlife Session

Wildlife Rehabilitation Data & Rehabilitators as Sources for Insights into Ecological Processes** ++ [30 mins]        
In conjunction with the St. Francis Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Tallahassee, Florida, a summary of trends in the animals brought into the facility over an eight-year period are presented during this lecture. Based on census data, discussion includes the demographics of who is bringing in these animals. While this information can be used to identify areas where wildlife education programs are needed, the main emphasis in this presentation is to query attending rehabilitators about their observations on trends in animal intakes, what their underlying ecological and environmental drivers might be, and how the network of individuals involved in a rehabilitation rescue interact.
Jon Anthony Stallins, PhD, University of Kentucky

Wildlife Conservation Threats & Efforts in Belize [60 mins]
This class introduces the most common threats for wildlife conservation in Belize as well as several projects and efforts to fight wildlife crime and resolve wildlife conflict. Efforts to conserve the scarlet macaw as well as the Hickatee (dermatemmys mawi) conducted from 2013/2015 to today are presented as well as the Wildlife Ambassador program which was geared toward law enforcement and community ambassadors.
Isabelle Paquet-Durand, Belize Wildlife & Referral Clinic

Up, Up, and Away! ++ [60 mins]
Being land-bound, humans look up and are amazed at how birds can fly. Birds use the sky as their pathway to food, freeway for migration, dance for romance, and an almost infinite playground. This discussion looks at some of the physics and biology that allows birds to take advantage of the wind and sky above us. The focus is on raptors to look at the advantages of different types of flight.
Gail Buhl, Partners for Wildlife - University of Minnesota

Echolocation: Seeing with Sounds [60 mins]      
You know you want to know about Doppler shifts, frequency hopping, and wavelengths, don't you? Take a not-too-deep dive into bat echolocation and an overview of what a bat detector can do for you!
Leslie Sturges, The Save Lucy Campaign

General Rehabilitation II Session

Interactive Panel Discussion: Resources for Rehabilitating Unusual Species** ++ [60 mins] 
What do you do when a species enters your care that you’ve never worked with, or if you don’t have the proper enclosures or resources for that patient? This interactive panel discussion highlights resources used to figure out the best care for those unusual species, providing proper diets, and creating adequate housing. Come prepared to share your own favorite resources!

Kelsey Pleasants, CWR, Wildlife Center of Virginia
Renee Schott, DVM, CWR, Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Minnesota
Halley Buckanoff, CVT, North Carolina Zoo's Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
Peggy Hentz, Red Creek Wildlife Center

Helping Rehab and Educational Animals Thrive ++ [60 mins]
This talk is for rehabilitators and educators at every level. Enrichment is generally geared toward zoo animals; as wildlife rehabilitators and educators, we have to look at it a bit differently. Focusing on welfare, this lecture emphasizes how to meet the habitat and behavioral requirements for your animals, reduce their stress, and provide mental stimulation.
Debbie Sykes, Nashville Wildlife Conservation Center

Releasing Wild Animals & Considerations for Post-Release Survival ++ [90 mins]
In wildlife rehabilitation, there is much focus on all aspects of the rehabilitation process, but very little attention to the release plan. Sadly, it is very common for us to spend hundreds of hours caring for our patients, only to have very low survival rates after release. Captive-reared animals and adults with no defined territory are very vulnerable as they enter or re-enter their wild home. With the goal of post-release survival, this presentation discusses considerations for releasing our common species as well as case studies on patients with more complicated concerns.
Elisa Fosco