The South Vancouver Island Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is on track for a record number of rescues this year.
With one month left in 2021, the BC SPCA’s Wild ARC has already saved 3,036 wild animals. This is only 30 less than the record of 3,066 in 2017, and already more than the nearly 2,800 animals saved in each of the past three years.
Andrea Wallace, the centre’s wildlife welfare manager, says inputs have steadily increased since opening in 1997. In 1998, the first full year of operation, Wallace says they welcomed 1,500 animals.
This year, the increase in the number of cases was mainly due to an outbreak of salmonella in pine siskin songbirds in January and February. Wallace says their normal intake almost doubled in those two months.
“It’s common in the environment. It exists, it is there, and sometimes we have epidemics, ”she said. Wallace adds that bird feeders make outbreaks much more likely. “They come in contact with each other over there much more closely than they naturally would.”
Throughout the year, Wild ARC cared for 136 pine siskins, although Wallace was not sure if they all had Salmonella.
Otherwise, Wallace says it’s been a pretty normal year. The majority of their patients were birds, with a few mammals and a few amphibians and reptiles. And, as usual, the vast majority of rescues have been the result of human activities – birds hit windows, vehicles hit animals, and pets attacked wildlife.
In an average year, Wallace claims that 80 percent of their intakes are related to humans. With the intensification of human activities from climate change, it is possible that this percentage will increase even more in the coming years.
Wallace says the recent flooding in British Columbia hasn’t had much of an impact on their animal numbers as southern Vancouver Island hasn’t been particularly affected and most of the animals may simply move out. , but that the summer heat wave sent quite a few animals with heat. stress.
She says the goal of Wild ARC is to continue to educate people on how best to coexist with wild animals. Ultimately, they hope that facilities like theirs will not be necessary.
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