Wildlife nonprofit seeks volunteers as volume of animals increases
As the number of animals being brought into the care of local nonprofit Wildlife Rehabilitation and Release grows, board president Bev Myers says the organization is in need of more volunteers.
The organization’s Intake Center, at 809 Maltman Drive, Grass Valley, is currently being used primarily for triage and caring for birds until they can be transferred, according to Myers.
Birds are being transferred to Gold Country Wildlife Rescue, which Myers said has the facilities, staff, and volunteers to take care of them.
Myers said Wildlife Rehabilitation and Rescue’s Intake Center is mostly taking in songbirds or varieties like woodpeckers, while raptors and small mammals are being rehabilitated more at the homes of organization members who are able to take them in.
She added that the Intake Center has taken in a lot of baby squirrels this year.
“The first wave has already come through, they’re all pretty much released now, but I think we had at one time a total of 50, and we usually have about 20,” said Myers, adding that she expects a second wave to come in late June or early July.
Rabbits, according to Myers, should be left alone as “there is a hemorrhagic fever going around,” which affects both domestic and wild rabbits. She said the Intake Center will begin taking rabbits again next year.
“We want to get the word out that we’re here,” said Myers. “And, if you find anything, give us a call first because some things can be taken care of over the phone.”
The center is at 530-477-5774.
According to Karen Koskey, the organization’s education chair, an example of this is occurring as spring continues and baby birds fall out of nests while learning to fly.
She said that, while people are sometimes concerned and call the center upon seeing a bird on the ground, the best thing to do is either put the baby bird back in their nest if accessible, or make a “nest” out of a small box or basket, which will ideally allow the baby bird to be found by their mother.
Koskey said the volume of animals brought in to the Intake Center is increasing after a slow period during the earlier months of the pandemic.
“Last year was less, fewer people were out and about,” said Koskey. “A lot of birds, especially raptors, we get from people driving down the highway and seeing birds.”
At the same time, the Intake Center is understaffed, according to Myers, who said the center needs volunteers for a range of tasks, including preparing food for the birds, feeding them, and performing certain cleaning tasks. She said the organization asks that volunteers have at least one four-hour shift per week, and that most are able to be trained within the first couple of shifts.
Koskey said the organization is also in the early stages of searching for a new site, where it hopes to be able to help a variety of birds, as well as the full scope of animals helped at the current Intake Center.
Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at email@example.com
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Given the job loss associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, nonprofits’ social services were greatly impacted.