Nov 18, 2012

Reunite Wildlife!

Barn owls returned to their palm tree nest.
Young wild animals stand the best chance of living normal lives and surviving as adults if they are raised by wild parents, as opposed to being raised by rehabilitators in a captive environment.
From wild parents, young learn what to eat, where to forage, how to hunt, what to fear, where to shelter. They learn valuable social skills, in some cases their own dialect, and they are allowed time to disperse naturally into their home territory.
No human, no rehabilitation program - not even the best in the world, will ever be a fitting substitute.  ~ Rebecca Dmytryk

Anne Miller presenting on reuniting young raptors.
This week, WildRescue's Rebecca Dmytryk presented at the California Council of Wildlife Rehabilitators' symposium, held at Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite. She was accompanied by Anne Miller, founder of Reunite Wildlife, for a two-hour presentation focused on the benefits of reuniting.

The program, attended by 75 participants including representatives from the California Department of Fish and Game, was aimed at empowering rehabilitators to practice reuniting.

Every 'baby season' wildlife hospitals are inundated with 'orphans' - many of which are healthy and should never have been picked up. Some need to be returned to where they were found, others might need a lift back into their original nests, others might need to have their nests totally retrofitted.

A replacement nest made from a laundry basket.
Either way, reuniting baby animals takes time and is best carried out by a dedicated team of resourceful volunteers - something many wildlife hospitals say they can't spare. Each year, then, a significant number of healthy babies are raised in captivity, a paradigm Dmytryk and other advocates of reuniting hope to see change in coming years.

Dmytryk's years of hands-on experience has earned her recognition as a leading authority on reuniting wildlife. She has joined up with other leaders in the field to develop guidelines to encourage more and more rehabilitators to adopt the practice.
If we know being raised by wild parents is what's best, then reuniting has got to be part of every rehabilitation program. It mustn't be viewed as an option, but an obligation.
Next March, the group plans to speak at the National Association for Wildlife Rehabilitators.

Also at the conference, Dmytryk was acknowledged 
with a certificate in recognition of her 31 years of service in the field of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations Rebecca! You are an inspiration and a guide to all of us in Wildlife care!

melandsyd said...

I would also like to see many "Rehabilitators" stop the practice of "Imprinting" healthy orphaned raptors to use as ambassadors in their education programs because they don't have that species in their facility. If they truly want to "educate" about wildlife and raptors, how about Nature walks, kids love field trips!