Fall 2014 Newsletter
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Save the date! The Wildlife Center of Texas annual Open House will be held on Saturday, December 5th, 2015. This year, we will have food trucks in addition to our usual snacks and great wine. Come out and participate in our raffle, bid in the silent auction, win prizes and tour the center! Please come out and support this vital local organization and join us in honoring our volunteers, sponsors, veterinarians, and Moody Gardens while celebrating our ninth year at The Wildlife Center of Texas. More information and RSVP details will be made available in the coming weeks.
Great horned owlet in its new nest When baby birds fall out of their nests, it is impossible for their mothers to pick them up and place them back in the nest. Some mothers will continue to feed their babies on the ground, but these babies will eventually fall prey to predators such as raccoons or stray animals. This is where YOU can help! Most birds do not have a good sense of smell, and do not care if you touch their babies. It always best for mom and baby to remain together, and babies may still be cared for by the parents if placed in a substitute nest. A concerned citizen called The Wildlife Center of Texas last week about two great horned owlets whose nest had fallen down, taking the owlets with it. One had already passed away when he found the fallen nest, but the other was still alert and walking around. He called the center to see if he should bring it in, but here at The Wildlife Center of Texas we always want to try and reunite parent and baby if possible. Laundry basket used as substitute nest So we instructed the rescuer on how to construct a make-shift nest out of a laundry basket, leaves, and grass and place it in a tree nearby the spot where the babies were found. Of course it was also important that he watch to see whether the parents came back to care for the baby. The mother soon returned and kept feeding her baby! The concerned citizen sent us regular updates and pictures of the baby and, under the care of its mom, it is growing every day. [...]
Spring is just around the corner. This past week our baby nurseries have started to fill with baby eastern fox squirrels, rabbits, opossums, and ducks. All of the babies are being lovingly tended to by our dedicated volunteers. Please remind family, friends, and co-workers to keep an eye out for fallen babies this spring as they start doing yard work. Many tree trimmers do not know that squirrel nests are in the tree until they destroy the nest. Baby rabbits are frequently found by gardening and lawn care companies. This is also the time of year that mother opossums with pouches full of babies begin to move and are hit by cars in the road. The wildlife center receives hundreds of babies each spring when mothers are killed but the babies are still alive. If baby squirrels are found and cannot be put back in the nest, one can either leave them at the base of the tree or place them in a hanging basket (seen in the picture to the right) in a nearby tree for an hour or so to see if mom comes to pick them up. Unlike mother squirrels, mother birds cannot pick up their babies and move them once they have fallen out of their nest. If a baby bird is found they can be placed back in their nest or they can also be placed in a hanging basket nearby. The birds’ parents will continue to feed them even in the basket. Wild mothers will NOT reject their babies if a human has touched them; this is a myth and reuniting mother and baby is always the best option. However, if they are not taken by the mom, place [...]
Join The Wildlife Center of Texas at the Wildcat Golf Club on April 15, 2014 as an underwriter and show your support for native wildlife at our 10th Annual Golf Tournament. As an underwriter, you will be joining our current sponsors listed below, in a continued commitment to the welfare of native wildlife and environmental education. Click Here to Sign Up! There will be food, live music and much, much more. Space is filling up fast, so don't delay, sign up today as an underwriter! The tournament has an 8:00 am shotgun start with registration beginning at 7:00 am. Your support can help save the lives of injured, ill, or orphaned native wildlife, all while playing golf on a course named one of the Top 10 Luxury Courses by Avid Golfer Magazine!
The Wildlife Center of Texas will be providing two oiled wildlife response training workshops on location in Houston. The workshops are identical in content but offered on two different dates. The first will be sponsored by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation on Friday, March 28, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The second will be sponsored by ExxonMobil on Saturday, March 29, 2014 from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Clean Gulf Associates will be providing the Oiled Wildlife Response Trailer for washing. Both workshops will take place at The Wildlife Center of Texas, 7007 Katy Rd., Houston, TX 77024. These workshops fill up quickly so sign up as soon as possible! Please register via email at WildlifeResponse@wildlifecenteroftexas.org. There is no cost for the workshop but space is limited. The purpose of the workshop is to certify and train personnel that are interested in assisting The Wildlife Center of Texas Oiled Wildlife Response Team during a spill. Certification and training are required for anyone who may participate in any role during an oiled wildlife response. The workshop will cover topics such as the effects of oil on wildlife, initial intake and exam of oiled wildlife, an introduction to OSHA training, wildlife rehabilitation's role in Incident Command System, and actual hands on cleaning of oiled feathers in which participants will practice by washing an un-oiled white duck. We would like for all permitted wildlife rehabilitators and trainees, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state wildlife officials, industry environmental personnel, local veterinarians, veterinarian technicians, as well as interested citizens to participate in this training.
The Wildlife Center of Texas would like to remind everyone that this is the optimal time of year to wildlife-proof your house. Over 85% of baby raccoons we received last year were made orphans unnecessarily. Following these simple guidelines from WCT and 911Wildlife can save you time, money, and keep wildlife families together. 1. Don’t put out a welcome mat. Trim overhanging branches that provide easy access to your roof for squirrels and other wildlife. Loose shingles are the equivalent of a flashing “Vacancy” sign for wildlife. Carefully inspect your roof and eaves. Repair deteriorating boards, warped siding, and damaged shingles. Cover attic openings with heavy gauge, rustproof wire mesh (not chicken wire). If you have a chimney, make sure that it has a secure cap. Chimneys without caps are open invitations to noisy chimney swifts and raccoons looking for "hollow trees" in which to give birth and raise their young. 2. Avoid providing a buffet. Don’t encourage nesting by providing food like accessible garbage, pet food, bird seed, and standing water. Tightly bungee cord trash cans and avoid feeding pets outside. 3. Don’t forget your friends in low places. Skunks and armadillos are ground-dwelling diggers. If you have a pier-and-beam foundation, cover vent openings with heavy gauge, rustproof wire mesh. If you have a deck, install an L-shaped barrier around it. Cover open bottom decks with lattice to discourage a potential nest. 4. Don’t waste time and money. If you already have animals in your home, be sure to use a reputable wildlife removal company that takes the time to inspect and prevent all entry points to prevent more calls in the future. Also make sure your company takes the time to [...]
The latest edition of The Wildlife Center of Texas Newsletter is out! Click the link below to view the newsletter: Wildlife Center of Texas Newsletter (Fall 2013)
The Wildlife Center of Texas will be conducting an oiled wildlife response training workshop on Friday, December 13, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., sponsored by Shell. The workshop takes place at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, Louisiana and will certify and train personnel that are interested in assisting The Wildlife Center of Texas Oiled Wildlife Response Team during a spill. Lunch will be provided. Certification and training are required for anyone who may participate in any role during an oiled wildlife response. The workshop will cover topics such as the effects of oil on wildlife, initial intake and exam of oiled wildlife, an introduction to OSHA training, wildlife rehabilitation's role in the Incident Command System and an actual hands on cleaning of oiled feathers in which participants will practice by washing an unoiled white duck. All permitted wildlife rehabilitators and trainees, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, state wildlife officials, industry environmental personnel, as well as local veterinarians and veterinarian technicians are encouraged to participate in this training. There is no cost for the workshop but space is limited. Please register via email at WildlifeResponse@WildlifeCenterofTexas.org
As winter approaches, The Wildlife Center of Texas sees an increase in the number of injured adult animals that are found and brought to our center. Hawks and owls are commonly found injured on roadsides, hit by cars as they swoop down to catch prey in the road. Hawks are also the most frequent victims of gunshots seen at The Wildlife Center of Texas. It is illegal to shoot or otherwise intentionally harm a protected species like hawks and other Texas birds thanks to the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. Violations of the law are subject to conviction of a misdemeanor and fines of up to $15,000. However, this does not stop people from shooting the magnificent birds. Luckily, our veterinary staff is able to repair many of the injured birds brought to our center. It is very rewarding to see our raptors and other birds take flight once more and rejoin their brethren in the wild. Besides our birds of prey, opossums that have been hit by cars or caught by dogs are another fairly common patient. Squirrels that are busy preparing for winter may get hit by cars, fall out of trees, or get caught by cats. Migratory songbirds may run into trouble with windows or outdoor cats as they come through the Galveston/Houston area. Seabirds and aquatic turtles inadvertently swallow fish hooks along with their meal. Many of the injuries sustained by wild animals are the result of human influences. The Wildlife Center of Texas is here to help. We are open every day to receive wild animals in need. Our staff is just a phone call away to give advice on capturing an injured animal or to make recommendations [...]