Friday, August 1, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Toast to Wildlife showcases SWR’s success

DSC_4154 ec

SIERRA WILDLIFE RESCUE raptor rehabber April Nichol holds Lionel the great-horned owl for attendees of the Toast to Wildlife fundraiser at Cameron Park Country Club on April 28. Democrat photo by Krysten Kellum

By
From page A1 | May 06, 2013 |

It was a howler of a good time as Sierra Wildlife Rescue held its Toast to Wildlife Champagne Brunch at the Cameron Park Country Club on Sunday, April 28.

Supporters were treated to an opportunity to interact with rescued wildlife as well as hear a galvanizing presentation on wolves, enjoy a sumptuous brunch, and take a chance on silent auction items and raffles.

Probably the most popular part of the day, other than the endless glasses of free champagne, seemed to be the opportunity to view up close a group of rescued birds of prey. Accompanied by their handlers, each bird came with a different story of injury and survival with the help of SWR.

According to Nan Powers, who is the public relations and publicity chair for SWR, the all-volunteer organization annually rescues some 1,200 to 1,500 animals, with most released back to the wild. However, those that can’t be released are given permanent care and a place in the organization’s outreach and educational efforts.

Present at the fundraiser was a California Spotted Owl called Sierra along with her handler, Betty Ondricek of Somerset. Sierra lost an eye after being hit by a car. No longer able to hunt because of her loss of depth perception, she now works as an education bird, going out to 20 to 25 places a year as part of the organization’s outreach efforts.

Marty Owen, another volunteer, had three birds to show off. One of her favorites was a Harris’ Hawk called Zag. A bird with an unfortunate history, it had one toe bit off by a squirrel it was trying to capture. Owen said Zag is used as an example of why people shouldn’t try to hand feed squirrels. Zag’s other injury was to a wing when it chased a jack rabbit over a fence and was attacked by a guard dog. It had to have its wing amputated as a result and now is permanently grounded. Owen also brought with her Herbert, an American Kestrel found at Herbert C. Green Middle School, and a Northern Pygmy Owl called Dusty.

Other birds on display were Big Spender, a Red-Shouldered Hawk, who was with her handler Judy Monestier, and a Great Horned Owl named Lionel, who was discovered on some railroad tracks. He was with his handler, April Nichol.

The brunch also featured a presentation on the return of the wolf to California by Lauren Richie and Kevin Schmelzlen. Both work for the California Wolf Center which is headquartered in Julian. Founded in 1977, the organization provides education, conservation and research as well as breeding programs for wolves.

The speakers noted that historically, the gray wolf occupied most of North America until a hundred years ago when an extermination campaign almost wiped them out. They noted that since then there’s been a shift in thinking, and in 1995, the federal government sponsored the reintroduction of wolves into Yellowstone National Park and central Idaho. They have since spread to Montana, Wyoming, Oregon and Washington. One of the Oregon wolves actually entered California recently, but apparently didn’t like it and left. The team said they hope California eventually has its own wolf pack along with a model program for wolf recovery.

Richie and Schmelzlen said that not everyone is excited about the re-introduction of wolves into the U.S. Some people want them shot on sight because of their potential threat to livestock or other wildlife. The duo noted there are efforts to come up with non-lethal measures for reducing the conflict between wolves and livestock. They also emphasized that wolves are part of the natural order in nature and they strengthen wildlife populations by eliminating the weak and old and preventing a population explosion that can, in turn, lead to over-grazing.

The duo ended by showing video clips of wolves at play and howling, clips that were both endearing and spine tingling.

Powers said that all the money raised at the event will go towards rescuing, rehabilitating and caring for wildlife. SWR takes care of every type of mammal and bird with the exception of bears and mountain lions. Those animals too injured to fend for themselves, like the birds at the event, are put into protective care and used to educate children and the public about wildlife preservation.

Licensed since 1992 by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and California Department of Fish & Game, SWR has a core group of 35 to 40 volunteers divided into groups that specialize in the care of certain animals. These volunteers house, feed and provide medical care to injured or orphaned wildlife. Overseeing the medical care and welfare of all their Education Birds as well as the special veterinary needs of their wildlife charges is Dr. Jeanne Smith, one of the foremost avian veterinarians in California. The organization also works closely with local veterinarians, County Animal Services and other groups.

Powers said the group’s mission is to rescue orphaned and injured wildlife, preserve them and return them to the wild and to educate the public. A member of the group for 12 years, Powers said she joined because she always loved working with animals. As a little girl she said she lived in an apartment and couldn’t have a pet. But she said there was a squirrel with a broken leg that would come to their window and they would feed it nuts. She said that squirrel was the only pet she had until her parents moved.

“I was animal deprived until I was 11 and got a dog,” she laughed.

Powers said Sierra Wildlife Rescue volunteers all have something in common.

“We have a nurturing disposition and want to return something to the environment,” she said. “We love this county, love the wilderness and want to be surrounded by wildlife and give something back.”

“The habitat for wildlife is decreasing,” she went on, “and we need to share our property with our wild neighbors.”

Powers said people need to pay attention when removing brush and cutting down the limbs of trees because they are often homes for wildlife, especially for baby animals. She also emphasized that if someone finds some baby animals, to not assume they are abandoned. The mother may simply be off hunting. Instead they should contact SWR on the most appropriate action.

For those who find an injured or orphaned animal or who want to volunteer or donate to the organization, Sierra Wildlife Rescue can be reached at 530-621-4661. Memberships can be had for $10 and up. People can also choose to adopt an animal for only $25 per adoption. All donations are tax-deductible. For more information about the organization, visit its Website at sierrawildliferescue.org.

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or dhodson@mtdemocrat.net. Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.

Comments

comments

.

News

Cameron Park house burns

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Supes delay petition

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

Fire generated small city, inspired volunteers

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Sand Fire 95% contained

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1

 
Two fires in town

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A3

SUV hits parked cars

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A12

 
.

Opinion

The weekly Daley: The wrong side of history

By Chris Daley | From Page: A4

 
Billingsley’s bullets: Advice from my psychiatrist

By Bob Billingsley | From Page: A4

.

Letters

Second Amendment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

 
Pollock Pines’ Fourth of July Parade

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

Water conservation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

 
Koby

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Debt reduction at EID with Coco?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
Time for change in CP

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

Olives need less water

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

 
EID rate discrimination

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5Comments are off for this post

.

Sports

Camp draws good numbers

By Jerry Heinzer | From Page: A9Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
New law tackles gridiron concussion problem

By Mike Bush | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Outside with Charlie: Rafting denied

By Charlie Ferris | From Page: A9

 
Racing returns with big 5-division card

By Bill Sullivan | From Page: A9

Roundup: July 31, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A10

 
.

Prospecting

Sing while you paint

By Placerville Arts Association | From Page: B1Comments are off for this post | Gallery

 
Plenty of golden fun during SlugFest

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Things to do: Aug. 1, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2

 
The making of a champion

By Special to the Democrat | From Page: B2

Art on the Divide is showing new exhibitor

By Art On The Divide | From Page: B3

 
‘The Flu Season’ stirs emotions

By Ovation Stage | From Page: B4

Guitar group performs in Sutter Creek

By Sutter Creek | From Page: B5

 
Time to register for classes at Center Stage

By Center Stage Dance Academy | From Page: B5

Get a groove on in Sutter Creek

By Sutter Creek | From Page: B8

 
Chris Young in concert at Carson Valley Inn

By Carson Valley Inn | From Page: B8

The music continues at Bear Valley Music Festival

By News Release | From Page: B8

 
Sacramento Museums are celebrating

By Sacramento Association Of Museums | From Page: B9

 
.

Essentials

Weather stats

By Michael Raffety | From Page: A2

 
Crime Log: July 17-19

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

.

Obituaries

Mark A. Smith

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Jeffie “Jeff” Lee Callahan

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Patsy Ruth Wing

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
Lisa Oliver Rose

By Contributor | From Page: A2

Larry A. Randall

By Contributor | From Page: A2

 
.

Real Estate

Decorating your home by the numbers

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS4

 
Avoiding the deal killers

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Hilltop home views outrank water-front views

Press Release | From Page: HS7

 
Luxury home sales jump

Press Release | From Page: HS11

 
Pending home sales decrease in June

Press Release | From Page: HS13

 
Sheryl Lindroos joins American Heritage

Press Release | From Page: HS17

Sunny Rosabella exudes a warm ambiance

Press Release | From Page: HS23

 
.

Comics

.

Home Source

Decorating your home by the numbers

By Marni Jameson | From Page: HS4

Avoiding the deal killers

By Ken Calhoon | From Page: HS4

Hilltop home views outrank water-front views

Press Release | From Page: HS7

Luxury home sales jump

Press Release | From Page: HS11

Pending home sales decrease in June

Press Release | From Page: HS13

Sheryl Lindroos joins American Heritage

Press Release | From Page: HS17

Sunny Rosabella exudes a warm ambiance

Press Release | From Page: HS23