When we sit down to recap for these e-newsletters, we often have trouble deciding what to spotlight. The challenges that Stella posed to our staff and wild animal patients? The fact that we participated in 2 regional environmental education conferences, and a national wildlife rehabilitator's symposium? Our recent and upcoming owl prowls, or this year's Call of the Wild? And every patient and community member screams to be highlighted.
We are constantly amazed and inspired by the resiliency of our local wildlife, the generosity and connection to nature of our community, and the expertise and passion of our staff and volunteers. We hope you enjoy this month's highlights, and feel free to
and let us know what you might like to see more of!
Join us for our Annual
Call of the Wild Auction and Benefit!
Join Center for Wildlife staff, board, animal ambassadors, and keynote speaker, Dan Gardoqui, for our largest fundraiser of the year. This year's event will be held on Friday, May 5th from 6-10pm at the beautiful York Harbor Inn. White Pine Programs Co-Founder and Executive Director, and Science Editor for "What the Robin Knows", Dan will help teach us how to tune into the secret languages, calls, and messages of local songbirds and other wildlife.
This year's event features dinner, live and silent auctions with trips to Costa Rica, Alaska, and South Africa, a paddle board package, and raffles and games, with a chance to win a summer getaway on Kezar Lake (two doors down from Stephen King!). All proceeds go toward providing animal care and environmental education programs in the community.
Tickets are $40/person. Registration is available online by clicking here.
**This year only 125 spots are available, and we have sold out at 225 the previous two years. Tickets are going fast, be sure to reserve your spot and we hope to see you there!
This could be Big...Night! On the first wet Spring Eve when nighttime temps have been ~40-50 degrees, amphibians make a mass migration from hibernating spots to breeding grounds. With roads, pets, lawn chemicals, and other introduced challenges to face, they can use all the help they can get. Many of our upland species like barred owls and spotted turtles rely on healthy vernal pool and amphibian populations for their own survival.
This week is VERY likely to be the night for many of the communities in our region! Grab friends, family, or head out solo on frog, toad, and salamander patrol and you could save 1 or hundreds of lives!
Here are some tips:
1. Walk your road with reflective gear, particularly if you live close to a pond, wetland, or vernal pool
2. Wear gloves or keep hands free of lotions, bug spray, oils or perfumes
3. Move amphibians across the road in the direction they're facing (heads up they are likely to be cold and wet!)
4. Take photos and share on our Facebook or Instagram pages
5. Click here to download the Harris Center for Conservation Education "Big Night Tally Sheet" to contribute citizen science data
6. Have fun!
Want to learn more about vernal pools or big night? Our executive director, Kristen Lamb, recently prepared and presented a Vernal Pool/Big Night adult workshop for the Town of Nottingham, NH Conservation Commission. This public program will also be presented to the town's Planning Board to help promote the protection and stewardship of these unique and rare ecological communities. Email Sarah to book a similar program for your library, group, or town board/committee. Click here to read NH Fish and Game's 2016 Vernal Pool Manual, or click here for the Salamander Crossing Brigade handbook.
Update on Porcupines:
A Persistent Fungal Infection
This winter caring members of the community brought us several North American porcupines who were weak and lethargic, including the most recent albino female. Upon examination our clinic staff found that they were all suffering from skin infections, which leads to local and systemic infections and loss of mobility when left untreated. Our expert staff got to work with diagnostics (biopsy, skin scrapings, and labwork through the
UNH NH Veterinary Diagnostics Lab
), treatment (medication, baths, and skin conditioning), fluid therapy, and nutritional support.
Three of the porcupines responded well to initial treatment, and though they lost a majority of their fur and quills began to rebound within the first several weeks. However, once left without treatment, their symptoms began to return. Preliminary reports show that all of the porcupines are dealing with fungal dermatophytes, and we await speciation so we can choose the correct antifungals for treatment. We have been recording baseline data of porcupine skin disease for almost a decade through the NHDVL. Issues that the wildlife in our clinic face are often a barometer for greater ecological community challenges. As we share the same habitat as our native wildlife, we look forward to continuing this work and eventually coming to some answers on what these porcupines are facing, and what conditions created this disease. In addition to collecting data,
we will be partnering in a porcupine skin lesion paper, headed by Dr. David Needle.
As an aside, our albino porcupine patient was admitted after her rescuers observed her in their neighborhood acting lethargic and quiet. Upon examination our clinic staff found that she was covered in ticks and lice, and dealing with tape worm and pinworm. She also appears to have no ears, and we are unsure of her vision. She was dehydrated and also displaying signs of fungal/ skin infection. Yet despite all of this, her age tells us she somehow made it through an entire winter without camouflage, and limited hearing and eyesight. She has already gained 300 grams while in our care, and we are hopeful that we can get this beautiful and rare animal back to the wild for another chance. Her prognosis is guarded, but in the meantime we are happy that we can offer her a safe and comfortable place to recover to the majestic porcupine that we know she is.
In the Field
NH Environmental Educator's Conference
Guess who was selected to present one of the workshop's at this year's
NH Environmental Educator's Association Conference
? Our very own Sarah Kern, Education & Outreach Coordinator, and Kristen Lamb, Executive Director. They were excited to present "Signs of the Wild", giving teachers and informal educators tools, techniques, and training to lead an inquisitive nature walk in a field, forest, or patch of grass/concrete. The workshop also helped teachers combine STEAM with place-based learning, and to help restore scientific observation and the scientific method in our youth
Our Wildlife Specialist/Facilities Coordinator, Katie Pepin, proudly represented Center for Wildlife at this year's
National Wildlife Rehabilitator's Association symposium
in Williamsburg, VA this year. One of the leading associations in our field, this symposium
offers 90 different workshops with presentations ranging from veterinary to volunteers, furred to feathered or scaled, educational programs to emerging diseases, small to large wild species, and just about anything else we may need to do the best work for the injured and orphaned wild animals that depend on us. Katie brought back great information, and we are already incorporating some new techniques into our baby mammal protocols.
Smuttynose Owl Prowl- Night Flights
We were thrilled to offer a "Night Flights" owl prowl at
Smuttynose Brewing Company's
Towle Farm in North Hampton recently. As one of our biggest supporters, we thought it would be fun to partner with Smuttynose and bring together owls and beer. Little did we know how much everyone loves owls and beer! The tickets went on sale and 40 spots sold out within two days. We had a blast introducing local owl species to the crowd, talking about natural history, what owls are up to this time of year, and how to keep them safe year round.
During the presentation an amazing spread of local food offerings was put out by
, and different beer samples were given as well. Following the presentation, food, and beer, we all headed out into the night into the beautiful Towle Farm woods on an owling adventure. We heard the wisps of a wild great horned owl call back. Stay tuned for the next CFW/Smuttynose event!
Blizzards and extreme weather can be challenging for a wildlife center. We do not have overnight accommodations for staff, yet our patients need care daily without exception. When weather patterns were more predictable we could prepare ourselves for power outages and ensure we have a working generator, but adult patients rely less on heat and incubators so a loss of power could be manageable. But now we have babies in the winter, and when Stella hit our generator failed and we had to kick into crisis mode.
Thanks to our staff, volunteers, and interns that all took reptile, infant, and critical patients home to keep them stabilized and warm. And to our volunteer extraordinaire Rob Hussey who drove down with his own generator to keep our building safe. And to the local condo association that generously donated a smaller generator as a backup. What an amazing group effort! We will be putting a newer generator in next year's budget, and look forward to partial fundraising at our upcoming Call of the Wild event.
Maine Beer Company- 1% for the Planet
Three cheers for
Maine Beer Company
out of Freeport, ME! We are so grateful to have recently received another generous donation as one of MBC's
1% for the Planet
partners. This amazing company not only brews delicious beer, but they have a commitment to "Do Whats Right" by donating 1% of all profits to local and environmental organizations. As the number of phone calls, patients brought to us, and education requests continues to skyrocket in response to increased awareness of our connection to the planet's health and the immense pressure it us under, we could not do our work without the generosity of donors like them. We applaud the owners and staff for showing our community that it is possible to run a successful business while caring for the planet!
Center for Wildlife is MBC's featured non-profit this month. They are promoting our adoptions through their social media, have information in their tasting room, and are throwing an "Owl Prowl Happy Hour" with us on Thursday, April 20th in honor of Earth Day. Click here to reserve your spot, tickets are almost gone!
Saturday, April 15th
Springtime Surprise at the Grant House with York Parks and Rec Department
Trail Search, Egg Hunt, Storywalk, Photo ops, Center for Wildlife Nature's Nesters Presentation & Bird Box Building, Prizes and more. Fun for the whole family. Get Outside with us! Space is limited and reservations are required.
Tuesday, May 2nd
Tuesday Tour at Two at Center for Wildlife
385 Mountain Road, Cape Neddick ME 03902
It's that time of year again! Meet CFW educators and ambassadors under our outdoor educational pavilion and learn about the CFW's history and mission, local wildlife, and what to look out for this season. Following the presentation, join us for a tour of our raptor enclosure and the chance to observe a baby bird feeding!
There is a $5 per person suggested donation for the tour. Reservations are required and space is limited to 12 people per tour, ages 5+. Please
our Education and Outreach Fellow, Katie, to reserve your spot today.
for more information.