2021 Summer Newsletter | Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue
A Message from our Executive Director
Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue and True Wild Partnership
Dear Supporters,

In April of 2021, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue and True Wild entered into a partnership agreement to further enhance conservation efforts in Sonoma County.

True Wild is a conservation-focused company founded in 2019 by Dr. Quinton Martins and partners Liz Martins and Neil Martin. Quinton is a large predator specialist and conservation proponent, and he is the principal investigator for the “Living with Lions” program run by Audubon Canyon Ranch in Sonoma County.

SCWR has worked with Dr. Quinton Martins and Liz Martins since 2018. Liz Martins is Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue’s Educational Consultant and guides the educational aspects of our PEEP Education Program and Wildlife Education Exhibits. Dr. Quinton Martins has long been an excellent resource to our Wildlife Hotline and Wildlife Exclusion Services through Audubon Canyon Ranch’s Living with Lions project. The Puma Proof Pen that stands in our PEEP Barnyard as an example of a cost-effective solution for hobby farmers who are looking to protect their sheep and goats from large predator predation, was designed by both Dr. Quinton Martins and Liz Martins. Most recently, True Wild has consulted with and trained Sonoma County Wildlife's staff on the use of trail cameras to improve both our Wildlife Rescue capabilities and Wildlife Exclusion Service techniques.
Dr. Quinton Martins using a VHF antenna and receiver to track a collared mountain lion.
The work that True Wild does in Sonoma County complements SCWR’s projects, making them an ideal partner for us. The partnership is focused primarily on the important areas of Human-Wildlife Conflict, Wildlife Exclusion and Environmental Educational Opportunities.

True Wild has built a Visitors Center located at 13875 Sonoma Highway (Hwy 12) in Glen Ellen. The visitor’s center will showcase local conservation efforts, invite participation in local environmental activities as well as contributions towards conservation.
This kitten cub is designated “P16" in Audubon Canyon Ranch's Living with Lions program.
True Wild also organizes and leads unique African Safaris with the goal of connecting people to nature in an intimate and rewarding manner, contextualizing the experience, and enhancing people’s understanding about the natural world they live in.

True Wild’s Visitor Center will feature some of SCWR’s projects including a display of one of our Barn Owl boxes and information on how to participate in the Barn Owl Maintenance Program.

For more information about True Wild, visit their web site at www.truewild.org or stop at the True Wild Visitors Centre on Highway 12.

Thank you for your continued support!

Doris Duncan
Executive Director
Community Spotlight
NorCal Affordable Plumbing

Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue is excited to announce the first otter patient to benefit from our Aquatic Mammal Enclosure’s Otter Nursery Pool! This young orphaned otter was transferred for continued care from Gold Country Wildlife Rescue. The new addition was constructed thanks to Dan Hendrickson and Robyn Newkirk of Hendrickson Pool last winter as well as volunteers who help build the den and prep the area for construction. Read more about their efforts in the Animal Care Spotlight of our 2020 newsletter here. In early May, Nor Cal Affordable Plumbing finalized this project by donating their time and expertise to extend water to our lower pond in the Aquatic Mammal Enclosure!

This smaller pond will be a sanctuary for small orphaned otters and beavers learning to swim on their own. Since these species rely on their parents to teach them how to swim in the wild, this otter pond provides a safe pool with sloped edges where young otters may teach themselves to swim until they are sufficient enough to transfer to our larger Aquatic Mammal Enclosure. Join us in giving NorCal Affordable Plumbing a special thanks for finalizing this enclosure just in time for our first otter patient of 2021!

To visit their website and learn more about their services, please click here.
BOMP Corner
Help Goatlandia Farm Animal Sanctuary Raise Funds for a Barn Owl Box!

A Message from Goatlandia:

Goatlandia Farm Animal Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming farmed animals in dire need. In addition to rescuing animals who have nowhere else to go, we use our animals' stories to educate the public about the plight of farmed animals harmed by commercial farming, neglect, abuse, abandonment and more. Our two Sonoma County sanctuaries offer refuge to a plethora of creatures, including goats, sheep, pigs, horses, ducks, chickens, turkeys and geese!

Recently, our Santa Rosa sanctuary has been struggling to battle a rodent problem. While we take all measures possible to contain animal feed and make the property as undesirable as possible for rats and mice, our problem continues to persist. We know that in order to protect the health and safety of our own animals, we have to take action; but we must ensure that this is done in the most wildlife friendly and humane manner possible. By installing an owl box on our property, we will not only be providing our crucial native wildlife with a safe and secure home, we will also be protecting the safety, health and cleanliness of our own beloved sanctuary residents.

The cost for Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue to install a barn owl box with us is $610. We greatly appreciate any contributions to help us welcome these incredible birds of prey to our land. With your assistance, we can help our sanctuary for farmed animals become a sanctuary for native wildlife as well!

If you would to donate, please use the link below.
Animal Care Spotlight
Turkey Vulture Orphans
Turkey Vultures are our local cleanup crew. As scavengers, turkey vultures clean our various habitats of deceased and decaying animals. They are considered very intelligent and are often seen throughout Sonoma County soaring the wind currents, using their amazing sense of smell to detect food below.
As cavity nesters, turkey vultures are known to choose reclusive nesting sites, often far away from human populations. Seeing a turkey vulture nest is extraordinarily rare to witness. Thankfully, this results in low human conflict for young turkey vultures and intakes of turkey vulture nestlings are uncommon. In fact, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue has only seen a handful of turkey vulture orphans in the last decade. In late May, we received two turkey vulture chicks from Mendocino County that were approximately 1 week old. In these situations, our raptor care team takes great effort to renest and reunite young birds of prey and these attempts are almost always successful. Unfortunately for these turkey vultures, the nest was destroyed and continued logging in the area prevented us from getting these orphans back to their parents.

As intelligent animals, young turkey vultures can imprint easily on humans, meaning that they will begin to see humans as their primary caregivers. Imprinting cannot happen for young wild animals as they must be able to find their own food sources and have the skills necessary to survive in the wild, not reliant on human intervention. These two chicks are the youngest turkey vultures that we have ever had! So, it was imperative that we proceeded with their rehabilitation very carefully.

Thankfully, from the beginning, their temperament has been very sassy and spicy toward our animal care staff, showing no signs of early imprinting. With special thanks to our Animal Care Team and Raptor Care Team Leader, we devised a plan just as unique at these two patients to continue caring for these orphans until their return back into the wild.

In September of last year, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue welcomed Hugo the Turkey Vulture as the newest educational ambassador to our Wildlife Education Exhibit. Hugo is approximately 55 years old and was brought to SCWR after her previous facility closed. Hugo’s arrival granted us the unique opportunity for our two turkey vulture orphans to be cared for by us while only seeing and being around another turkey vulture. The three of them are currently housed in our Raptor Recovery Center.
Turkey Vulture nestlings navigate a divider in their enclosure to get to food on the other side.
The enclosure they are housed in has been set up with a feeding door, hay bale blinds and security cameras, thanks to Phil Tam and his team with Adobe Telecom so that we can enter the enclosure without being seen by the chicks. When our staff must be within sight or handle the birds for exams and enclosure cleaning, our animal care team wears face coverings and are careful not interact with the bird in a way that can increase the risk of imprinting.

Thankfully, our efforts over the last month and a half have been successful. The chicks are beginning to get their juvenile plumage in and have grown over 13 times larger than their initial intake weight of 150 grams!

While we are well on our way to a successful release, the cost of care for these turkey vultures has been substantial so far, with the cameras alone costing nearly $2,000. If you would like to donate to the cost of care for these amazing birds, please donate using the link below.
Support Your Local Wildlife!
Donate Today!
Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that relies on donations from the public to rehabilitate the 1,000+ animals we receive each year. We do not receive any government funding. Our annual operating budget is $950,000, which means it costs almost $2,600 per day to keep our doors open.  Any donation helps!
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