|A quarterly newsletter produced by the Wildlife Rehabilitators of North Carolina (WRNC). WRNC's mission is to share information and knowledge about wildlife rehabilitation for the benefit of native wildlife. For comments or questions, write to: WRNC, 2542 Weymoth Rd, Winston-Salem, NC 27103.|
Board Backs Rabies Proposal
A proposal to allow specially trained, vaccinated rehabilitators to care for rabies vector species will be presented to the Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC).
The WRNC board of directors voted 10 to 0 to send the proposal to WRC. Enabling rehabilitators to care for animals at a high risk of carrying rabies will help protect the public, board members said. "A significant portion of the public choose not to surrender a baby raccoon when they learn that the raccoon will be euthanized," the proposal states. "When specially trained rehabilitators are allowed to accept these animals, people agree to surrender the animals. Potentially rabid animals are removed from the public and are instead brought under the care of a few people who are thoroughly trained in safe handling procedures and understand the precautions that must be taken with these animals."
The WRNC Board of Directors held its online meeting Oct. 2. Present were Linda Bergman, Toni
O'Neil, Bobby Schopler, Mary Weiss, Jennifer Burgin, Jean Chamberlain, Elizabeth Hanrahan, Carla Johnson, Beth Knapp-Tyner and Mathias Englemann.
Sally Davis (excused), Joan McMurray and Mary Beth Bryman were absent.
The board also discussed WRNC's involvement in the 2006 North Carolina Veterinarian Conference. While board members agree the organization should be involved, several questions remain regarding level of involvement and its value to WRNC's membership and objectives. The topic was tabled for later discussion.
In other business, the board:
From the editor's desk
newsletter is your tool for reaching everyone else in WRNC. Please feel
free to submit comments, corrections, announcements and submissions
for future newsletters to Brenda Hiles at email@example.com
or Sally Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
rehabilitators and associated wildlife professionals
to attend its fourth symposium being held Jan. 28 and 29 at the North
Carolina Zoo's Educational Center in Asheboro.
We have planned an exciting selection of sessions for this symposium. You'll want to attend the session on the use of radiographs for wildlife. Learn how they are taken and how to read them. Research is challenging the traditional theories on imprinting; the latest ideas will be presented. Participate in a discussion on ethics for rehabilitators. Sessions also are planned on hummingbirds and cottontails.
See how a mammal cage is built and build your own on site.
Be sure to attend one of the necropsy workshops on birds and mammals.
Have trouble with calculations? Stop in for one of the workshops on drug dosage calculations.
Do you know how to recognize avian influenza, how it is diagnosed and what to do in the event it is found in North Carolina? Come to our round table. Cases of chronic wasting disease have been confirmed this fall in our neighboring states. Learn how that affects rehabilitators.
Don't miss the case studies. Test your diagnostic skills against some of the common and also some more difficult conditions rehabilitators diagnose.
At the end of the afternoon on Saturday, you can pose questions to a panel of experts during a question-and-answer session.
Visit our website, http://ncwildliferehab.org, for the latest on sessions and speakers. The schedule will be posted as soon as it becomes available.
Wildlife is not permitted in the Education Building at the zoo.
Need Supplies? Last Chance to Order!
Show Your Stuff at the Symposium
At last year's Symposium we had many wonderful exhibits from wildlife groups and rehabilitation centers. We are inviting you to return and set up a table displaying information about your work with wildlife. You will also be allowed to sell wildlife-related merchandise and gift shop items.
If you did not participate last year, please consider this opportunity for free publicity as well as a chance to make money for your organization.
To reserve a table at the 2006 Symposium, complete both pages of the exhibitors contract. Because of the overwhelming response last year, each group is limited to one table.
We look forward to seeing those who participated last year, as well as some new faces.
The contract for exhibitors is available online at http://www.ncwildliferehab.org
Developing a disaster plan
By Elizabeth Hanrahan
Litters of baby squirrels blown from trees by the winds of a hurricane, animals
stranded by flood or attempting to outrun fire, opossums wandering the neighborhood
so desperate for food that they refuse to retreat from people, or wildlife
looking for a new home, are all scenes that could be played out the next time
disaster strikes. The effect on wildlife will depend on the type of disaster,
its size and location, but it is reasonable to assume that an impact of some
degree will be felt by wildlife and by rehabilitators.
As we have recently learned, it is vital that rehabilitators and rehabilitation facilities prepare for disasters. A lack of planning can significantly increase the magnitude of the disaster for humans as well as the wildlife entrusted to our care. Advanced planning and preparation for potential emergencies allows the wildlife rehabilitator or wildlife rehabilitation organization to reduce damage and downtime. Planning and preparation for a variety of disasters helps assess the impact of each on wildlife and helps determine the potential duration of each type of disaster.
This series of articles will present:
Each segment will include a case study of a disaster.
Quick Check Outline of Wildlife Rehabilitation Disaster Plan
|I. Evaluation of the wildlife rehabilitation facility|
|a. Known dangers to the facility in the area|
|i. Structure fire|
|iv. Hazardous material spill|
|vi. Heat emergencies and blizzard, ice or winter storms|
|ix. Civil disturbances|
|x. Other disasters possible in your area|
|b. Dangers to structure|
|i. Condition of building|
|1. Indoor caging|
|2. Outdoor caging|
|3. Portable caging|
|iii. Interior "safe" areas|
|iv. Access to water and electricity during/following emergency|
|v. Drainage around structures and caging|
|vi. Trees, equipment around structure and caging|
|vii. Security of expensive equipment, foodstuffs, and materials|
|viii. Supplies and access to supplies: rehab supplies, radio, batteries, flashlights, etc.|
|ix. Hazardous materials|
|II. Long-term preparations when a disaster is anticipated:|
|a. Order extra medicines, food, supplies|
|b. Plan possible evacuation routes|
|c. Network with other wildlife rehabilitators for transfer of animals or assistance|
|d. Notify state and national animal/wildlife rehab organizations if assistance is anticipated|
|i. Check annually for adequacy|
|ii. Where is the facility on the floodplain map|
|iii. House/facility inventory with photos or video|
|iv. Inventory and photo storage|
|v. Valuable papers/insurance storage|
|IV. Specific preparations|
|a. Secure and label all hazardous materials|
|b. Secure and close valves of outside tanks|
|c. Inventory and separate incompatible chemicals|
|d. Back up computer and make copies of records|
|e. Copies of computer and rehabilitation records stored at __________________|
|f. Outside cleared of loose objects|
|g. Refrigerated/freezer inventory protected|
|h. Movable inventory packed and protected|
|i. Vehicles fueled and protected|
|j. Freezer emptied of carcasses|
|k. Flammable materials removed|
|a. Evacuation plan for family/staff|
|b. Evacuation plan for animals|
|c. Evacuation locations designated and agreements signed|
|i. Evacuation location 1.____________________|
|ii. Evacuation location 2.____________________|
|d. Plan developed for movable inventory|
|e. Additional movable caging, food, supplies|
|f. First-aid kits and medications (animal and human)|
|g. Radio and flashlights with batteries|
|h. Medical records (animal and human)|
|i. Personal items for self/family/staff|
|j. Security plan for valuable equipment|
|k. Secure premises:|
|i. Take identification, licenses, records|
|ii. Unplug equipment|
|iii. Shut off electrical breakers, water, gas|
|VI. After the disaster|
|a. Safety clothing and equipment:|
|i. Rubber gloves, boots,|
|ii. cleaning supplies|
|b. Check wildlife rehabilitation facility/equipment/supply damage|
|c. Photograph/document damage if necessary|
|d. Safety repairs|
|e. Inventory supplies and equipment|
|f. Building checked by electrician, etc if necessary|
|g. Notify family/staff/agencies, etc. of status|
|VII. Planning for the next disaster:|
|a. Review and update disaster plan|
|b. Develop a disaster contact list or telephone-tree|
Analysis of Types of Disasters
Structure fire - Wildlife rehabilitation facilities should have a structural fire plan. The fire department can provide an assessment as well as suggestions to reduce the chance of fire and help develop escape plans. Fire is the most common threat. Most fires are caused by careless smoking or by electrical malfunction. Fires in nearby buildings can send flames and/or toxic smoke throughout the building.
Hurricane - Fortunately, when hurricanes are forecast in coastal areas there is time for planning and preparation. Most damage is caused by high winds. Additional damage may be caused by windborne debris or falling trees. Heavy rains and storm surge can cause flooding. The tail end of hurricanes can cause unexpected and devastating flash floods.
Flood - Many wildlife rehabilitators may be located in the floodplain for lakes, creeks, or rivers. They should check with their local government to see floodplain maps that show how high water will rise based on the amount of rainfall for a given period. Many of these floodplain maps have recently been revised. Flooding may occur quickly in hilly areas or when dams burst.
Hazardous material spill - Any wildlife rehabilitator or facility near transportation routes for hazardous wastes, chemicals or explosive materials, is at risk for a potential disaster. The threat of contamination may cause authorities to order an evacuation of the area. Plans to evacuate and protect the wildlife in care should be in place and reviewed regularly.
Wildfire - Wildfires can be unpredictable. They threaten wildlife facilities near wooded areas as well as in population centers such as those in Florida several years ago. Evacuations are mandatory and little more than an hour or so of warning is given.
Heat emergencies and blizzard, ice or winter storms - In addition to the concerns caused by extremes in temperatures, the wildlife rehabilitator must be prepared for utility outages. There may also be disruptions in transportation for delivery of animal foods and supplies.
Earthquakes - There are earthquake faults throughout the United States. Everyone should prepare for the possibility of earthquakes.
Tornado - Those wildlife rehabilitation centers in tornado-prone areas
should have a safe area to locate people and animals as well as animals in
care. There will be wind-driven damage as well as the possibility of utility
Q. Is there an online forum for WRNC members to communicate with each
A. Yes! We have a special listgroup set up on yahoo for WRNC members only. Members may share information, ask questions, network, and get to know one another a bit on this mailing list. To join, members may go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/WRNC/ and request to join the group. (You must include your real name in your request.) OR send an email to:
Avian Flu: What Rehabbers Need to Know
By Brenda Hiles and Sally Davis
Migratory birds play a major role in transmitting avian flu virus H5N1, but so far, there is no evidence of the disease in the United States. In the past two years, about 120 people have contracted the virus, all of them in Asia. About 60 of them have died, making the strain one of the deadliest in the past century. The virus recently showed up in birds in Romania, evidence that it is moving out of Southeast Asia into China, Russia, Siberia and Eastern Europe.
"We should be doing much more surveillance for avian influenza in migratory birds," said Peter Cowen, associate professor of epidemiology and public health at the College of Veterinary Medicine at N.C. State University. "At first blush, migratory birds appear to be the major means of spread from locations in Central Asia such as Kazakhstan, Novosibirsk, and Lake Qinghai, China to Eastern Europe."
Migratory birds also could spread the disease to North America, either directly from Siberia or indirectly from Eastern Europe to east Africa and from there to west Africa, Cowen said. Migratory routes from west Africa lead to Northern Europe and eventually North America.
People who interact with wildlife are the key to early detection if the influenza does arrive here via migratory birds, he said. In Asia, several species of geese, gulls, swans, cormorants and ducks have died from H5NI virus.
"We don't really know the full host range for present outbreak yet," Cowen said. "The best bet is to follow the movement of the virus in both animal and human populations, keeping abreast of the situation with emerging disease reporting systems like the internet based ProMED-mail (www.promedmail.org)."
Any die-off of migratory birds should be carefully considered and referred to the state veterinarian or a public health director, he said.
Waterfowl, especially duck and shorebirds, are natural reservoirs for H5N1, meaning that they carry the virus but often have clinically inapparent infections. The virus is not passed easily from birds to humans, and there have been no cases at all passed between humans. The danger lies in the virus mutating to a strain that does spread rapidly among humans.
The National Wildlife Health Center is recommending that wildlife rehabilitators continue basic hygiene measures. Rehabilitators may want to wear gloves, face masks and goggles when handling potentially infected birds. Heat kills the virus; regular soap also is effective. Antibacterial hand washes are no more effective than soap and water in killing the virus.
Emily Beeler, a veterinarian with the Los Angeles County Veterinary Public Health Department, recommends that rehabilitators get flu shots. The vaccine won't protect against H5N1 but it will reduce the chances of getting the bird flu on top of the regular flu virus.
More information about avian flu can be found at the Office of International Education Web site at http://www.oie.int/eng/en_index.htm
Please get your end-of-year reports in to WRNC. File
existing federal records or print a form at http://www.ncwildliferehab.org/end_of_year.html.
up: USFWS Seeks Comments
on Migratory Bird Permits
The USFWS is soliciting public comments to help develop permit regulations
governing possession of live migratory birds and eagles for educational use.
The comment period ends Dec 12. Instructions for submitting comments are included
in the federal notice 50 CFR part 21. The notice contains a detailed discussion
of the regulations being considered. You can see the notice at http://www.fws.gov/policy/library/05-20593.html.
Comments may be sent by e-mail to MB_education@fws.gov,
or mailed to Division of Migratory Bird Management, US Fish and Wildlife Service,
4401 North Fairfax Drive, MBSP 4107 Arlington, Va. 22203. Include your name
If you have non-releaseable birds used in education programs, this will have a direct impact on you and your ability to keep them. Please take the time, before the law is written, to provide input. Doing so will benefit all individual rehabilitators who use birds in school programs.
Cage Building Grant Proposal
Proposal: A total of $500 was again approved at the WRNC Board meeting
for grants. Two $250 grants will be awarded to help defray costs for two current
(dues paid) WRNC members to use for cage building. WRNC recommends that these
cages be built to meet the IWRC/NWRA Minimum Standards Guidelines.
The WRNC Board of Directors requires several safeguard measures to ensure the money is used for cages. Safeguards include:
1. Three other rehabilitators are required to vouch for the need of the person applying for the grant. They would verify that the person is actively rehabilitating in a medium-to-large volume, known to them as a rehabber in good standing, and holding current state and/or federal licenses. Board members will verify this information by phone calls.
2. The Board may ask for a copy of the applicant's statistical records to use as proof of need.
3. The applicant must sign a promissory note stating that a minimum of 90% of the money will be used only for the building of the cage. [This allows the recipient to use previously purchased materials such as nails, bolts and wire rather than requiring they be purchased just to use the full amount of the grant.]
4. The three people vouching for the applicant will also be required to confirm that the cage has been built. Board members will again verify this by phone.
5. The Board requires that a final color photograph be submitted once the cage has been built. The photo and an article may be used in the next newsletter to publicize the program.
6. The Board requires a copy of the actual receipts for the cage-building supplies, once the cage is completed.
7. A limit of 90 days is standard from the time the check is issued to the time the cage has been completed. Acceptable extenuating circumstances documented in a letter to the Board before the expiration of the 90-day period may result in a formal extension with a new completion date. (There may be extenuating circumstances that are acceptable to extend this period, but it must be put in writing and the Board must be notified of the reason for the delay; a completion date must be set, with the promise to adhere to it.) Failure to comply with the new date will result in the Board asking for the money to be returned so it can be issued to another recipient.
1. Applications are due Jan.15, 2006.
2. Grant recipients will be selected by the Board of Directors by March 1.
Cage Building Grant Application Form
Name: ___________________________________ Date: ___________________
Address: _________________________________ Phone: ________________
_________________________________________ E-mail: __________________
Are you a WRNC member? Yes _____ No _____
Are you licensed? Federal _____ State _____
How long have you been actively rehabilitating? __________________________________
List the reasons you believe you qualify for this grant, and document your need: ________________________________________________________________________
List three references (rehabilitators); You must include name, address, and phone number. Please indicate if the person is a member of WRNC.
By signing this application I agree that if I am awarded a cage grant I will use monies received exclusively for purposes of building a new pre-release cage (or expanding/repairing an existing cage.) Within 90 days after receiving monies, I will submit copies of dated receipts for materials purchased in an amount not less than 90% of total grant money awarded. Upon completion of the project, I will submit a color picture of the cage.
Return by Jan. 15 to: Toni O'Neil, WRNC Cage Grant Program, 119 Doe Drive, Hubert, NC 28539
Have you moved? Has you email address changed? Is your
phone number listed incorrectly in the directory?