Call of the Wild Conference

November 17-19, 2017

The Wildlife Center of Virginia invites you to the 22nd annual Call of the Wild conference on wildlife rehabilitation. Wildlife rehabilitators, veterinary professionals, wildlife biologists, environmental educators, and wildlife enthusiasts from Virginia and beyond will share ideas and knowledge that can benefit wildlife, the environment, and the continually evolving field of wildlife rehabilitation. 

The conference is sponsored by the Wildlife Center of Virginia, one of the nation’s leading teaching and research hospitals for native wildlife, and the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries [VDGIF]. The Call of the Wild conference will be held at Best Western Inn & Suites Conference Center in Waynesboro, VA, conveniently located off of Interstate 64 at Exit 94.

This is an excellent learning opportunity for rehabilitators of all skill levels — and a chance for you to relax and rejuvenate, ready to return home inspired to continue the great work you do!

Register by November 10 to avoid a late fee!

Click here to register for the Call of the Wild conference!

Friday, November 17

This year, the Wildlife Center is excited to kick off the conference with three different targeted educational opportunities: classes from the Center’s Wildlife Care Academy wildlife rehabilitation course, classes from the Academy’s non-profit management course, and a training opportunity for veterinary professionals.

Wildlife Care Academy REHAB classes:
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. – REHAB 105: Wildlife Capture, Restraint, Handling, & Transport ++
10:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. – REHAB 101: Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation ++
12:10 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. – Lunch (on your own)
1:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. – REHAB 203: Wildlife Rehabilitation Fundamentals* ++
*REHAB 101 is a pre-requisite for REHAB 203

Participants will receive a certificate of attendance worth two (2) CE credits per class attended; six (6) CE credits are available for the day.
Registration fee: $25/class. Receive $15 off REHAB course if attending all three classes and Saturday/Sunday of the conference. 

Wildlife Care Academy MGT classes:
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. – MGT 104: Basic Elements of a Strategic Plan – What does success look like?
10:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. – MGT 111: Excellent Animal Care Organizations Depend On PEOPLE!
12:10 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. – Lunch (on your own)
1:15 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. – MGT 204: Fundraising for Wildlife Care – “Nobody gives you money because you need it!" 

Participants will receive a certificate of attendance for each class attended. 
Registration fee: $30 each for MGT 104 and MGT 111; $40 for MGT 204. Receive $20 off MGT course if attending all three classes and Saturday/Sunday of the conference. 

For full class descriptions, please see the Wildlife Care Academy Course Catalog.

Veterinary Training Course** [This session is now full.]
12:00 noon - 4:15 p.m: This four-hour session is for veterinarians, veterinary technicians, and veterinary assistants and will be taught by the Center’s veterinarians and licensed veterinary technicians. The training will address specific skills needed for triaging wild animals, including handling/restraint, radiographs, ophthalmic examinations, and avian bandaging. Discussion will include triage decision-making in common wildlife scenarios and reporting of wildlife to appropriate agencies and governing bodies. Attendees will have the chance to tour the Wildlife Center and see the diagnostic equipment used in daily treatments.

Participants will receive a certificate of attendance worth four (4) CE credits. Please note that this course takes place at the Wildlife Center of Virginia.

Registration fee: $25/person.

Friday Social Events

Wildlife Center Tours – 3:30 & 4:30 pm
Tour the Wildlife Center of Virginia, a hospital for native wildlife. Located in Waynesboro, the Center is just a few minutes away from the Best Western.  Participants will need to provide their own transportation to the WCV; please arrive 5-10 minutes before tour time. Reservations required.

Welcome Reception – 7 pm
Join us in the pre-function area of the Best Western for drinks, desserts, and the opportunity to mingle with conference participants.  Early check-in at registration table. 

Saturday, November 18

7:30 am - 8:30 am Check-in and pick up registration materials
8:30 am - 8:45 am  Welcome

Session 1 8:45 am - 9:45 am 
A. Connecting with Nature: Teaching Life Lessons
Kick off the conference with an inspiring session led by Dr. Mamie Parker! This discussion will highlight how we can connect kids and adults to the outdoors and will offer important tips on making those connections between everyday life and the natural world. The session will be interactive and will teach participants how to get others inspired to care more for wildlife and the environment.
Dr. Mamie Parker, MA Parker & Associates 

B. Aw Shucks, I’m Crushed! Turtle Shell Repair Techniques Lecture++ **
Learn about techniques to fix turtle fractures including how to recognize which fractures should be stabilized and which ones should be left alone! This lecture is open to all attendees; it is required for anyone taking one of the afternoon hands-on labs. 
Dr. Alexa Ortiz, Wildlife Center of Virginia

Session 2  9:55 am 
A. Once Upon a Time: Storytelling in Wildlife Education [one-hour session ends at 10:55 am]
Stories have the power to engage, educate, and empower. As members of the wildlife rehabilitation community, we have access to some of the most compelling stories about wildlife. Our patients' stories can convey important messages about human-wildlife interactions; they can teach people about natural history, encourage them to make better decisions when interacting with wildlife, or inspire them to support your work as a rehabilitator. As wildlife rehabilitators, it is your responsibility to help improve human-wildlife relationships by educating your community, and storytelling can be one of your most valuable tools. In this presentation, we will discuss the role of storytelling in community outreach, fundraising, and wildlife education, as well as share techniques for developing and sharing your patient stories.  
Raina DeFonza, Wildlife Center of Virginia
B. Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit Considerations in Virginia [two-hour session ends at 11:55 am]++ **
This session, led by the VDGIF Wildlife Permits Coordinator, will address numerous topics, including wildlife rehabilitation permit conditions, acceptable continuing education unit (CEUs) credits, and rehabilitator’s continuity of operations planning. The state rehabilitation advisory committee will also be discussed, and attendees will have the chance to meet and hear from committee members.
Randy Francis, Virginia Department of Game & Inland Fisheries

Session 3  11:00 am - 12:10 pm
A. Safely Integrating Wild Foods into Your Rehab Practice++
Announcing the launch of a new online tool built specifically for rehabbers to help you use more wild plant foods in your practice! Quickly and with more confidence, know which wild plants your specific animal species’ are likely to eat.  Get access to more than 900 plant part listings for more than 200 animals covering the use of browse, nuts, seeds, fruit and greens. Plus, we will tackle the complex topic of plant toxicities and ways to work with the fact that plants have defenses, too! 
Kate Guenther, Wild Foods 4 Wildlife

LUNCH & NETWORKING  12 noon - 1:15 pm 

Session 4  1:15 pm
A. Helping Orphaned Songbirds Learn Their Song [one-hour session ends at 2:15 pm]
This presentation covers what is known on how birds learn to sing and the time frame during which song is acquired.  Discussion includes how we can best provide for the necessary learning for orphans in rehabilitation, including which species have been shown to benefit from hearing adult song on tape.  Help your orphans learn to sing. 
Jean Chamberlain, Wildlife Rehabilitators of North Carolina
B. Rehabilitating Wildlife: Mending Human Souls [two-hour session ends at 3:15 pm]
Ever feel burned out, while simultaneously feeling like you just can't give enough? "The antidote to exhaustion is not necessarily rest ," remarked Brother David Steindl-Rast to poet David Whyte. "What is it then?" asked David Whyte. "The antidote to exhaustion is wholeheartedness," concluded Brother David. This interactive workshop will explore one of the most important human dimensions of wildlife rehabilitation: the he (art) of service and what it is to be a healer amidst a world of wounds.
Jamie Reaser

Session 5  2:20 pm - 3:20 pm
A. Disease, Trauma, and Stabilization of Raptors ++ **
The lecture will encompass basic raptor anatomy, the most common infectious and non-infectious diseases, the common presentation of trauma patients, and the approach for their treatment and stabilization.
Dr. Octavio Romo, Stahl Exotic Animal Veterinary Services
B. Aw Shucks, I’m Crushed! Turtle Shell Repair Techniques Lab [this lab is now full] ++ **
This hands-on lab will allow attendees to practice the shell repair techniques discussed in the morning lecture. Those attending a lab must attend the morning shell repair lecture. Space is limited. There is a $10 additional lab fee.
Dr. Alexa Ortiz, Wildlife Center of Virginia

Session 6  3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
A. USFWS Law Enforcement Investigations++ 
Officers from the local U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service district will discuss how special agents work to protect threatened and endangered species. Special agents target criminal activities such as wildlife trafficking and habitat destruction. Learn more about wildlife crime reporting and the work that the local agents do on behalf of wildlife.
Special Agent Chris Mina, United States Fish and Wildlife Service
B. Aw Shucks, I’m Crushed! Turtle Shell Repair Techniques Lab [repeat] [this lab is now full]++ **
This hands-on lab will allow attendees to practice the shell repair techniques discussed in the morning lecture. Those attending a lab must attend the morning shell repair lecture. Space is limited. There is a $10 additional lab fee.
Dr. Alexa Ortiz, Wildlife Center of Virginia
C. Seed Cleaning Demo
For those who attended the "Safely Integrating Wild Foods into Your Rehab Practice" lecture -- see how seeds are "cleaned" and prepared as a bird seed and wildlife food. Discussion will include how to know when seeds are "ripe" and the demonstration will allow attendees to see the cleaning, threshing, and winnowing process for a variety of seeds. Sign-up at Kate's exhibit table at the conference for this demonstration. Space is limited and will be first-come, first-served for sign-ups at the conference. 
Kate Guenther, Wild Foods 4 Wildlife

Sunday, November 19

7:30 am - 8:00 am Check-in and pick up registration materials

Session 1 8:00 am - 9:00 am 
A. More Than Meets the Eye: The Basics of Avian Ophthalmology in Wildlife++ **
Take a look at avian ophthalmology and the importance of the sense of sight to birds. This session will discuss the unique qualities of the avian eye, identifying and differentiating ocular problems, and what you can do about them.
Dr. Monica Madera, Wildlife Center of Virginia
B. Calories, Calories, Calories (and a Few Other Things):  Basic Cottontail Rehabilitation++
This class will cover the basics of hand-rearing orphaned Eastern Cottontails, and will provide information that can be utilized in and tailored to a variety of settings.  The focus will be on the minimum intake, tube-feeding and housing requirements necessary for successful cottontail rehabilitation.  
Kim Cole, Virginia Permitted Wildlife Rehabilitator

Session 2  9:10 am 
A. The Complex World of Songbirds, Simplified [90-minute session ends at 10:40 am]++
With more than 450 species found in Virginia, birds are an incredibly diverse, varied, and complex group. This talk will primarily focus on the natural history of songbirds and how peculiar aspects of each species directly affects their care needs in rehab. Did you know there are some birds that will never drink water provided in a dish? Did you know there are several species that need to be tutored in song, even as adults? Did you know that a bird you are overwintering may have a completely different winter diet than its summer diet? How do you best provide for these cases? Find out all this and more!
Elizabeth “Haley” Olsen-Hodges, Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center of Roanoke
B. Starvation: When Nutrition and Fluids are the Problem and the Solution Lecture [one-hour session ends at 10:10 am] ++ **
Animals are what they eat and drink. Discussion will include information about essential nutrients, types of fluids, and rehabilitation diets. Attendees will know more about the diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of emaciation patients including mammals, reptiles, and birds. Participants will learn about the benefits and contraindications of fluids and nutritional support in starvation cases. This lecture is open to all attendees; it is required for anyone taking one of the afternoon hands-on labs.
Dr. Ernesto Dominguez, Wildlife Center of Virginia

Session 3  10:15 am - 10:45 am
A. Batty, It’s Cold Outside!++
Bat rehabbers in the mid-Atlantic and northern states are seeing an increase in winter bat calls. In fact, in some parts of Virginia, winter bat intakes outnumber those for orphan season.  Learn how to triage these increasingly common cases, and when and how to intervene.
Leslie Sturges, The Save Lucy Campaign

Session 4 
A. Rodenticide Toxicosis [10:55 am - 11:55 am]++ **
Rodenticides, colloquially referred to as rat poison, are ubiquitously used for pest control.  These rodenticides, however, are affecting not only the mice and rats that they target, but also wild animals, through primary and secondary consumption.  Rodenticides exist in various forms, with anticoagulant rodenticides being the most commonly used and most well known, and this talk will focus primarily on anticoagulant rodenticides.  Discussion will include the mode of action of anticoagulant rodenticides, clinical signs, diagnostics, and treatment for anticoagulant rodenticide toxicosis in wildlife.  This talk will focus mostly on anticoagulant rodenticide toxicosis in raptors, but will touch on other wildlife species that may be affected by anticoagulant rodenticides.
Dr. Kristy Jacobus, City Wildlife
B. Starvation: When Nutrition and Fluids are the Problem and the Solution Lab [11:05 am - 12:05 pm]  [this lab is now full]++ **
The lab will offer hands-on practice with fluid administration (subcutaneous, intraosseous, and oral), gavage and tube feeding, and energy and fluid calculations. Participants will practice on mammal, reptile, and bird cadavers. Those attending a lab must attend the morning starvation lecture. Space is limited. There is a $8 additional lab fee for supplies.
Dr. Ernesto Dominguez
, Wildlife Center of Virginia

LUNCH & NETWORKING  12 noon - 1:10 pm 

Session 5  1:10 pm - 2:10 pm
A. Diarrhea Cha-Cha-Gone: Combatting the Effects of Lactose Intolerance in Neonate Mammals++
Diarrhea in neonate mammals is difficult to control once it has initiated, so the ultimate goal is prevention.  Neonate opossums are particularly susceptible to persistent diarrhea and research has confirmed that this is because young marsupials are lactose intolerant.  Recently, a study was conducted on neonate opossums that resulted in successfully preventing diarrhea caused by lactose intolerance.  Come hear about this home rehabber’s delve into the scientific world, discover what this “secret weapon” is, and learn the implications for other neonate mammals.
Tanya Lee, Wildlife Care Alliance
B. Starvation: When Nutrition and Fluids are the Problem and the Solution Lab [repeat] [this lab is now full] ++ **
The lab will offer hands-on practice with fluid administration (subcutaneous, intraosseous, and oral), gavage and tube feeding, and energy and fluid calculations. Participants will practice on mammal, reptile, and bird cadavers. Those attending a lab must attend the morning starvation lecture. Space is limited. There is a $8 additional lab fee for supplies.
Dr. Ernesto Dominguez
, Wildlife Center of Virginia

Session 6  2:20 pm - 2:50 pm
A. Fur and Fenders:  Research and Mitigation to Reduce Animal-Vehicle Collisions on I-64
Virginia is consistently among the top 10 states with the highest number of deer-vehicle collisions, with more than 60,000 of these crashes in recent years.  The Virginia Department of Transportation has targeted a section of I-64 on and near Afton Mountain for safety and mobility improvements because of a high number of crashes and traffic stoppages, many of which result from deer and other wildlife attempting to cross the interstate.  This presentation describes ongoing research and mitigation by the Virginia Transportation Research Council, VDOT’s research division, to reduce wildlife-vehicle collisions along I-64.  A camera monitoring study is being conducted to determine the effectiveness of newly installed wildlife fencing along existing underpasses.  The fencing is designed to increase the use of underpasses by wildlife and to decrease collisions.
Bridget Donaldson, Virginia Transportation Research Council
B. How to Take the Paper (and Some Work) out of your Paperwork**
After the last cage has been cleaned and the last gaping mouth has been fed, no one looks forward to the pile of paper records that need updating.  This lecture will discuss how a free, online record-keeping system (WILD-ONe) can assist not only with your daily admissions and dispositions, but also keep you in contact with current and potential donors and generate your state and federal annual reports within seconds!
Leigh-Ann Horne, LVT, Wildlife Center of Virginia

Session 7  3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
A. The Canary in the Coal Mine: The Connection Between Human, Animal and Environmental Health ++ **
Learn about the diseases that affect you and the world around you.  This session will cover the role of wildlife in the "One Health" initiative by discussing the health concerns of animals and humans and emphasizing the importance of staying safe while caring for your patients. 
Dr. Peach Van Wick, Wildlife Center of Virginia

General Grid Overview:

 

Continuing Education Credits

The Call of the Wild conference offers CE opportunities to permitted wildlife rehabilitators as well as veterinarians, licensed veterinary technicians, and animal control officers. Certificates are provided at the conference. 

++ = approved courses for animal control officer (ACO) CE [up to six hours available Friday, five hours available Saturday, and six hours available Sunday]. 

** = These classes are eligible for continuing education hours for licensed veterinarians and veterinary technicians in Virginia based on 18VAC150-20-70, item 2.h. The Call of the Wild conference is co-sponsored by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Scholarship Opportunities

Thanks to a generous donation from Rehabitat Inc., scholarships are available for permitted Pennsylvania wildlife rehabilitators and veterinarians who work with a rehabilitator. Funds may be used for registration fees only. To apply, please email your name, address, and a copy of your current Pennsylvania wildlife rehabilitation permit to outreach@wildlifecenter.org. Please include a brief summary of species you rehabilitate.rehabilitator. Funds may be used for registration fees only. To apply, please email your name, address, and a copy of your current Pennsylvania wildlife rehabilitation permit to outreach@wildlifecenter.org. Please include a brief summary of species you rehabilitate.

Lodging at the Best Western

The conference will be held at Best Western Inn & Suites Conference Center in Waynesboro, VA, conveniently located off of Interstate 64 at Exit 94.

The Best Western offers spacious non-smoking rooms with wireless internet access, cable satellite television, an in-room coffee maker, microwave, and refrigerator. This pet-friendly hotel features an array of amenities, including a complimentary hot breakfast buffet, an indoor heated saltwater pool, and a fitness center. Many local restaurants are within walking distance of the hotel.

Room reservations and payment must be made through the Best Western. To reserve a room, please call the hotel directly at: 540-942-1100 or reserve online by using this group flier. 

Special pricing is guaranteed through October 24 at midnight, so be sure to make your reservations early! When making reservations, mention that you are attending the Wildlife Center of Virginia conference to receive the $94.99/night special conference rate. King suites are also available at $109.99/night. 

A Call of the Wild room block has also been set up at the nearby Days Inn for $69.00/night. This room block expires on 10/27/17.

To cut costs, share accommodations! If you need help in locating a roommate, please contact us at outreach@wildlifecenter.org.

Air Travel

For those traveling by air, the two closest airports to Waynesboro are Charlottesville Airport [CHO] and Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport [SHD]. Both are within 30-45 minutes of Waynesboro. Both airports have rental car agencies within the airline terminals.

Fees

Stay tuned for additional information in the summer of 2017. 2016 prices were $130 for the weekend conference (Saturday/Sunday); one-day rate was $80. Student rates are available for full-time students with a valid ID.

Meals

The conference registration fee includes lunch catered by a local company featuring both vegetarian and non-vegetarian entrees as well as side dishes and desserts. Accompanying guests who are not registered for the conference must pay a meal fee if they will be eating lunch with you [$16/meal]. If you’d like to sign-up your guest for lunch, please email outreach@wildlifecenter.org.

A number of restaurants are within walking distance or a short drive from the hotel. A “restaurant round-robin” will be organized on Saturday night for those wishing to dine and network with fellow conference participants at a local restaurant.

Exhibitors

In between classes, join your fellow attendees in the exhibit hall, where there will be numerous vendors on Saturday and Sunday. See what’s new, learn more about rehabilitation groups throughout the state, and pick up a gift or two!

If you are interested in reserving an exhibit table, please read this information and email outreach@wildlifecenter.org. Exhibitors must be registered by October 1.

Click here to register for the Call of the Wild conference!