Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything

by Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital
Play Video
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything

Project Report | Jul 30, 2022
Avian Influenza and Wildlife Rehabilitation 2022

By Yvonne Wallace Blane | Co-founder, Fellow Mortals

Mallard ducklings
Mallard ducklings

In mid-March this year, just after wildlife rehabilitators nationwide had attended our first in-person conference since 2019 and when anticipation of 'baby season' was starting to set in--highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) was detected in the wild bird population, in both migrating and resident species.

Avian influenza isn't new; it has been included in reference books on wildlife disease well back to the 1980's as it is a known virus carried by waterfowl, usually without any ill effects to the geese and ducks that are its natural hosts.

In 2022, avian influenza became much more than a notation in a reference book.  No longer was the virus only a threat to domestic poultry; now it was killing wild birds like cormorants, terns, pelicans, bald eagles, great horned owls, red-tailed hawks, and even the waterfowl that were normally asymtomatic carriers--some by the thousands, some already endangered as a species, like the Caspian tern.

After getting through SARS-CoV-2, and looking forward to a more 'normal' summer, HPAI was an emotional blow to wildlife rehabilitators, and it was to become a financial one as well.

What made the advent of HPAI especially difficult and even frightening for wildlife rehabilitators is the fact that there is no treatment for the virus, which is naturally carried by geese and ducks, and which is most often fatal to susceptible species.  Because there is no rapid test available to screen out sick birds before they are admitted to care, to admit just one bird infected with HPAI could jeopardize the lives of all other rehabilitating or permanent foster or education birds at a facility.

Ducklings and goslings are hatched in the spring and early summer and, without rehabilitation resources, the public would have nowhere to go if they found an gosling injured by fishing line, or ducklings orphaned when the hen was hit by a car.  We just couldn't accept letting these innocent orphans die when they needed help, so we built new caging at a separate location, set up biosecurity protocols, and hired a rehabilitator to provide care just for waterfowl.

In July, we released the first of the ducklings raised in this special program. The rest will follow in August.

Separately, our staff continued to work with raptors and other waterbirds at the hospital.  We set up a quarantine room so that we could provide care for orphaned owlets, injured eagles, and young crane and gulls.

It wasn't an easy experience to continue to rehabilitate waterfowl and other HPAI vulnerable species this year, but now that HPAI is less present in our region and we are close to releasing the species of most concern, we are glad we didn't back down from the challenge to providing care.

Wildlife rehabilitation will never get 'easier.' Emerging diseases, development, habitat loss, and balancing natural resources critical to both wildlife and humans mean there will certainly be more challenges to come.  With each one, we learn more about how to adapt, just like the wild ones who share our world.

While we hope HPAI isn't a threat again next season, at least now we have the experience and the facilities needed to help in a similar challenge.

Most importantly, in every season, and through every change, we are so grateful to be able to rely on those of you who are our recurring donors through GlobalGiving.  You give us the courage to continue.

Thank you, for the gifts that save vulnerable lives every day of the year.

Mallards in outdoor habitat
Mallards in outdoor habitat
Injured Canada goose gosling
Injured Canada goose gosling
Orphaned great horned owlets
Orphaned great horned owlets
Injured adult Canada goose
Injured adult Canada goose
Release Day
Release Day

Links:

Share on Twitter Share on Facebook

Apr 4, 2022
It's Springtime and Squirrel Time!

By Yvonne Wallace Blane | Co-founder

Dec 6, 2021
Little Lost Beaver

By Yvonne Wallace Blane | Co-founder, Fellow Mortals

About Project Reports

Project reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you can recieve an email when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports without donating.

Sign up for updates

Organization Information

Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital

Location: Lake Geneva, Wisconsin - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @FellowMortals1
Project Leader:
Yvonne Wallace Blane
Lake Geneva , Wisconsin United States
$108,048 raised of $150,000 goal
 
2,334 donations
$41,952 to go
Donate Now

Help raise money!

Support this important cause by creating a personalized fundraising page.

Start a Fundraiser

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence

Snorkeler
Our
Impact

Woman Holding a Gift Card
Give
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle
GlobalGiving
Guarantee

Get incredible stories, promotions, and matching offers in your inbox

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.