WILDLIFE MATTERS
Center for Wildlife Monthly E-newsletter

Answering the Call of the Wild
If there were ever any question about whether our work was needed, the month of May answered that in a resounding yes!  The phone rings off the hook; the public wanting to know how to keep baby birds with their parents, turtle eggs safe, or ensure the bunny nest found is truly abandoned.  Our Facebook posts reach upwards of 5,000-10,000 views, and folks are spreading the word about wildlife ecology and our intrinsic connection to nature through social media.  Our volunteer docents are met each weekend with droves of individuals and families wanting to see wildlife up close and learn more about who is in their backyard.  

And while the hours are long (we are sometimes working from 6am-2am during this peak season), your bright and shining faces, the worry in your voice to do the right thing, emails, calls, donations, and even cookies are all encouragement that we are right where we are supposed to be.  If you've missed any recent opportunities to give, consider clicking the button below to find out all of the ways you can support our work through this incredibly difficult season.  Thank you!  
An Evening to Remember
 
On a recent May evening, 150 community members braved torrential downpours, dressed in evening wear complete with skunk-themed bowties, and headed to the York Harbor Inn for a sold out event. What was the occasion? The Center for Wildlife's annual Call of the Wild Auction and Benefit. 

The number of seats available were scaled back from the previous two years' numbers of 225, and the tickets sold out within 10 days.  We are thrilled and re-energized at the amount of interest and support that we received from our community this year. As climate changes and pressures mount on local wildlife, that translates to increased pressures on our resources and challenges for our small staff and building. But our community knows the connection between healthy wildlife and healthy humans, and they answered our call for support in a big way. 

Participants had a warm welcome with delicious food and drink from York Harbor Inn, herb and flower centerpieces from Wentworth Gardens and Coastal Landscaping and Garden Center, keynote speaker Dan Gardoqui of White Pine Programs, and owl, turtle, falcon, and even porcupine and opossum ambassadors from Center for Wild. Auction items included trips to Africa, Costa Rica, and Alaska, a paddleboard, and a 6 night stay at Lake Kezar just a few doors down from Maine author Stephen King. Together, individuals and local businesses helped to exceed the organization's goal of $30,000 towards work for local wildlife and the public, along with a special fundraiser to help staff extraordinary orphaned mammal seasons and fund a much needed new and larger generator in response to extreme weather patterns and a changing climate. 



Special thanks to our Business Sponsors:


    


The Goldenrod, York ME
Lago's Lone Oak Ice Cream, Rochester NH
Tucker Associates, Rye NH
Wild Birds Unlimited of Scarborough, ME
York's Wild Kingdom, York ME

And thank you to all of the individuals and local businesses that contributed amazing auction items:

Dan Gardoqui/White Pine Programs
Cape Port Caterers
Cliff House Resort
Ogunquit Playhouse
Cornerstone Restaurant
Due South Expeditions
Zulu Nyala
Portsmouth Music Hall
Strawbery Banke Museum
Jonathan's Ogunquit
Portland Sea Dogs
Squam Lake Science Center
Hampton Inn
Granite State Whale Watch
Cellardoor Winery
Star Island Corporation
The Central Restaurant
Rob Hussey
Ocean Fire Pottery
Seacoast Nature Photography
Tim Beavis
Debbra Obertanec Photography and Art
Kittery Trading Post
Meadowmere Resort
Amanda Stanley CHP CRMT/ Jupiter's Labyrinth
Maine Huts and Trails
Vanity Hair Studio
Arens Stone Works
Mari O'Neil
Farm & Table Kennebunkport
Thomas Lynch Design
Nature's Gifts
Daytrip Jr.
Lost Coast Kittery
 
A Bevy of Bunnies
What species of mammal has a nest, raises young to be completely independent in just 3-4 weeks, and changes the color of their fur dependent on the season?  The elusive lagamorph!  Species of rabbit that we have in our region are the Eastern cottontail, New England cottontail, and snowshoe hare.  As a high prey species, it doesn't make sense for them to stay in a helpless pile for very long; thus their swift development to independence.  

Here are a few fast facts on this exceptionally cute species, along with some tips on keeping them safe this season.  

  • Snowshoe hare are born "precocial", meaning with fur and the ability to hop within hours of birth.  Cottontails are "altricial" meaning they are hairless, born with eyes closed, and completely dependent on parents
     
  • Snowshoe hare are completely weaned in just 2 weeks, completely independent in 3.  Cottontails leave the nest in 2-3 weeks, and are completely independent in 4.  If you see a small bunny with eyes open, hopping well on it's own, this is likely a healthy baby that has just left the nest
     
  • Mom returns to the nest just 2 times per day, ensuring that she doesn't give away the location of her helpless babies.  Babies can typically get the nutrition they need by nursing just 10-20 minutes per day.  If there is "no mom around" this does not mean a nest is abandoned
     
  • If a bunny has been attacked by a cat or dog, if the nest has been disturbed with equipment, or you observe a mother hit in the road and have found young, please call our Wildlife Assistance Hotline at 207-361-1400 for help!   
Bats Take Flight
While our local bat populations continue to struggle with White Nosed Syndrome and most species are now listed as threatened, endangered, or special concern in ME and NH, we admitted 9 big brown bat patients this past winter. Their reasons for admission ranged from torn patagium (the skin forming the surface of the wing), to prematurely waking up out of hibernation.  We overwinter these bats, giving them fluids, proper husbandry including correct humidity levels, and hand-feeding insects.  

Once the temperatures started warming up, we "test fly" the bats to be sure that they can sustain flight and can eat and drink on the wing for hours at a time during the night. We are pleased to announce that 6 out of the bats flew beautifully for 15 minutes right away, impressive after being in a closed space for months!  The other 3 still have a chance at release, but will require a bit more flight conditioning.  Click here to watch a video of one of our patients flying free for the first time all spring.      


Baby Gallery
Too cute not to share!  Take a look at some of the 200 patients currently in care. 

   

In the Field and Best Practices

Wildlife Education Resources
Our education team was recently approached by a Graduate Student seeking to build a resource for wildlife education lesson plans and presentations from leading nature centers, wildlife medical clinics, and environmental educators.  We were one of ten organizations selected from across the country based on our dedication to and embodiment of place-based education, active learning, storytelling, experiential education, next generation science standards, and developing empathy.  We are proud of Sarah, our Education & Outreach Coordinator, for helping to put us on the map, and to be in good company.   Click here to view the website, and to learn more.     

LL Bean Birding Festival

We were delighted to present our ME Birds of Prey program at the LL Bean and ME Audubon birding weekend festival.  The weekend event was filled with activities both in the field and in the classroom for birders at all levels.  We were delighted to be among colleagues like Avian Haven, The Nature Conservancy, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and the Chewonki Foundation.  This is the perfect time of year to tune in and keep eyes peeled for our winged friends.  Happy Birding!
 

Board Boot Camp- Advanced
As part of fulfilling our strategic goals and our 
commitment to capacity building and best 
practices, our executive director and board chair recently attended the Maine Association of Non-profits' "Board Boot Camp Advanced- Making Good Boards Great" all day workshop in Auburn.  Center for Wildlife, like any non-profit, can best succeed in reaching our goals when good leadership, visioning, and governance comes from the top down.  Kristen and Tom had great takeaways to implement from the day, including creating a Governance Committee and board member self-assessment tools.  We are excited to continue growing our ability to grow our services!
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Upcoming Events

Saturdays and Sundays
June-August
12:00-2:30p
Docent Tours!
Are you interested in learning more about CFW's work with local wildlife? Stop by this summer for one of our volunteer led tours.  Meet at CFW's new Docent Station for the chance to learn about our work from a trained volunteer docent, take a guided or self-guided tour of our education facilities, and shop nature inspired gifts and CFW merchandise which directly supports our work with local wildlife!

Drop- in, guided Docent Tours are hosted on the hour for a $5 suggested donation per person. 

Friday, June 9th
2:00-3:00p
Get Wise About Wildlife Series- "Wildlife Myth Busters"
Are bats blind? Can porcupines shoot their quills? Are snakes slimy and scary? There are so many myths about wildlife out there, but we will set them straight! Come and bust some myths that still persist in our society about our wild neighbors. Then go out and share what you know with your community!

Saturday, June 10th
10:00-12:00p
Wetland Walk with Mount Agamenticus
The Mount A region has the highest concentration of vernal pools in the state and is home to 3 threatened and endangered species. Join us and the Center for Wildlife to learn about seasonal life cycles, critical habitats, and the difference between facultative and obligate species, visit with CFW turtle ambassadors, and then hike to nearby vernal pools, ephemeral streams, and wetlands. 

There is a $5-7 per person suggested donation for these programs. Reservations are required and space is limited.  Please email our Education and Outreach Fellow, Katie, to reserve your spot today.   Click here for more information.  
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