Wildlife Research and Diagnostics
Growing Research Opportunities
In 2012, we plan to strategically continue projects with Biodiversity Research Institute, University of New Hampshire, University of New England, Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and New Hampshire Fish and Game. These partnerships will focus on research that will allow us to maximize our resources to focus on areas that are clearly beneficial to local wildlife, specifically those related to survivability and emerging zoonotic diseases.
Center for Wildlife and other wildlife clinics and rehabilitators can be invaluable in helping to identify disease outbreaks in wild animals, reporting cases where animals have been exposed to toxins, and identifying trends or hot spots for wildliife road mortality and much more.
Wildlife clinics nation-wide are sometimes perplexed about the survivability of an animal after release due to a lack of adequate post-release studies or data; specifically raptors whom have healed almost 100% except for permanent eye damage. The Hope Island Tracking Project is a collaborative project with Biodiversity Research Institute where we are collecting data on a Great Horned Owl with ocular damage (blind in one eye) that may never have been released because of concerns about her ability to hunt. A transmitter was placed on the owl in October 2011 and the owl was released to its home on Hope Island. Center for Wildlife receives data transmission of times and locations for the owl every 3 days.
Close to five months after her release she appears to be negotiating well and for all purposes appears to be healthy. At winter’s end we will know better about her ability to survive in the wild in light of her disability. This will give us invaluable information about the utilization of our resources for rehabilitation rather than euthanasia or housing the bird in a sanctuary indefinitely, which we hope to share with the rest of the wildlife medical community. Click here for the full story of her release, and visit our Facebook page or global giving page for updates on her location and travels!
Newcastle's Disease in Double-Crested Cormorants
Over the past several years our professional staff have noticed some patterns of illness in a particular seabird species. Through a partnership with a diagnostics lab at the University of New Hampshire, the Center has documented a possible cycle in “Newcastle’s Disease” in double-crested cormorants. The University lab was able to analyze these birds, create a study, and presented an abstract of findings at the 2011 Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference (click here for an abstract).
We attribute these important findings not only to the experience and skills of our staff, but to the extra time they have been allowed to research collaborate as a result of the financial support that your support has provided that allows us now to delegate some of the lower level tasks once performed by professional staff to interns and highly experienced volunteers. In addition to this study, some of our staff monitor a designated local beach as part of a SEANET study to document and create a baseline for seabird mortality rates.