By Tracie Hornung
Dr. Jean Cypher and volunteers of Rowena Wildlife Center recently traveled to Salem to attend the one-day Third Biennial Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference, sponsored by the Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife.
Highlights included cutting-edge speakers in the wildlife health and rehabilitation community. Staff members, volunteers and students involved with wildlife rehabilitation centers in Oregon and Washington attended.
It’s always fun being in a room full of “animal people” and this conference was no exception. And it was encouraging to see a broad range of ages – from experts who have been working with wildlife for decades to young students and volunteers just starting out in the field.
A whole lot of information was packed into the eight-hour conference. Physical rehabilitation, pain management, behavior, and recent research pertaining to birds and mammals were among the many topics. But I found the three most interesting were on positive reinforcement training by Cascade Raptor Center, black bear rehabilitation at PAWS Wildlife Center in Washington state, and the ODFW presentation on white-nose syndrome in bats. Bat researchers are trying to find the answer to why white-nose syndrome “jumped” across the continental U.S. from Minnesota to Washington, where the syndrome was found this spring. See the ODFW press release.
Other topics at the conference were:
- Release Criteria
- Criteria for selection of education birds
- Biosecurity and zoonotic disease
- Raptor re-feeding syndrome
- Seabird facility design and air sampling
- Small mammal rehab
- Update on regulations
This conference was a worthwhile experience for wildlife rehabilitators, and it’s great that the state clearly values and encourages the work of independent rehabilitation centers.