SEA TO SKY INJURED WILDLIFE EMERGENCY RESPONSE NETWORK
Helping wildlife in the Sea to Sky get to the designated wildlife rehabilitation centres safely and quickly.
INFORMATION FOR VOLUNTEERS:
[NOTE: The most up-to date version of this can be found by accessing the Google Doc version of Information for Volunteers ]
Locals and visitors commonly encounter injured wildlife, but are not sure what to do or whom to call. We need to improve public knowledge in this area and provide resources and training for volunteers.
Injured birds, small mammals, raccoons, and many others rely upon volunteers to help them get to the designated wildlife rehabilitation centres in the lower Mainland quickly and safely. We have established a protocol and volunteer network to strengthen and support the community’s response to injured wildlife.
This volunteer network works strictly under the guidance of the designated and permitted provincial wildlife rehabilitation centres. The network also aims to work closely with existing wildlife and animal welfare advocacy groups in the local community.
We always need volunteers!
- ALSO JOIN OUR COMMUNITY and invite your friends!
- What is the purpose of the volunteer network?
- To help injured wildlife in the Sea to Sky get to the designated wildlife rehabilitation centres safely and quickly.
- What wildlife do we help with?
- Small mammals, birds, even raccoons.
- Large wildlife (bears, cougars, coyotes….) should be handled by conservation officers.
- Who can care for wildlife?
- It is illegal for members of the public (including veterinary clinics) to hold wildlife for longer than 24 hours. Wildlife in need of medical care need to be transferred to the nearest wildlife rehabilitation center as quickly as possible. We follow the direct guidance of the permitted provincial wildlife rehabilitation centres, such as the BCSPCA.
- Call the BC SPCA Provincial Call Centre at 1-855-622-7722 if you are unsure about what to do.
- BIRDS/SMALL MAMMALS: 1-855-622-7722 (BCSPA Vancouver Wildlife In Distress Phone Number)
- LARGE ANIMALS (bears, coyotes, cougars, etc.): 1-877-952-7277 (Whistler Conservation Officer)
- DEAD WILDLIFE:
- Roadside dead animals: within Whistler call the Animal Control sector of Whistler Bylaws (604 935 8280). For Hwy 99 from Horseshoe Bay to Function Junction call DriveBC’s Report a Highway Problem: (1-866-918-1010).
- Dead wild birds: 1-866-431-BIRD (2473). Several government agencies work together to investigate wild bird mortality.
- ADDITIONAL WILDLIFE REHABILITATION & EMERGENCY CONTACTS (more detailed list)
LEARN MORE ABOUT WILDLIFE:
- FAQ from BCSPCA’s wildlife page.
- How can I help wildlife during wildfire season?
- What do you do if you see a bear?
- What do you do if you see a cougar?
- Is it bad to feed birds?
- Is it okay to feed hummingbirds?
- What do I do if my dog gets sprayed by a skunk, how can I remove the smell?
- How do I find a humane pest control company?
- How do I contain injured wildlife?
- I found a baby bird, what do I do?
- I found a baby seal alone on the beach, what do I do?
- I found a baby animal, what should I do?
- A bird flew into my window, how can I help?
- A deer has been injured, can it be helped?
- I found a baby deer alone in a field/garden/backyard – do they need help?
- Can I do a practicum with the BC SPCA for credit?
- My cat caught a bird, what do I do?
- I found an injured wild animal, can it be helped?
- How can I get rid of wildlife or keep them away?
- How do I report an oil spill?
- There is a cull happening in my community, can you stop it?
- There’s a squirrel/raccoon/skunk in my attic/crawlspace/shed/garage. What should I do?
- I saw a coyote in the city, what should I do?
- What can I do with an old fur coat?
- What’s the difference between crows and ravens?
- What is humane pest control?
- How can I help ducks or geese nesting on a roof?
- What if a duck or goose is nesting near my pool?
- How can I help a duck or goose family trying to cross the street?
- Is it a baby duck or a baby goose?
- Does the BC SPCA have a policy on keeping wild or exotic pets in classrooms?
- What’s the difference between exotic and wild animals?
- Can I have a wolf-dog hybrid?
- Can I have a pet fox?
- How do I clean raccoon poop on my property?
- Crows are dive-bombing me, help!
- I found a bat, what should I do?
- I found dead wildlife, what do I do?
- Is it bad to feed wildlife?
- Can I catch West Nile virus from a bird?
- Can I get rabies from a raccoon, squirrel, coyote or skunk?
- Can I move a bird nest?
- Can I have a wild or exotic animal as a pet?
- BC Government Wildlife Health
- Wildlife Care Basics For Veterinary Hospitals (Before the Rehabilitator Arrives)
WILDLIFE EMERGENCY RESPONSE PROTOCOL FOR VOLUNTEERS:
- A volunteer (or several volunteers) will be designated to respond to an alert issued by a member of the public (“Good Samaritan”).
- The volunteer will be expected to communicate with the volunteer coordinator at all times, ensuring that all requested updates are provided and that all protocols are followed until the case is closed.
- The volunteer will begin to document the incident using this GOOGLE FORM (CASE LOG)
- Gather all of the necessary details as you go. You can go back and edit your responses after it has been submitted if you keep the same browser window open.
- The volunteer will attend to the site where the animal is located:
- If the animal is still at large, the volunteer should observe the animal from a distance.
- If the animal is already in a box, the volunteer should ensure that the details of the Good Samaritan were documented in the Case Log (including the concerns and reason that the animal was trapped, and the location). The Good Samaritans should also be asked if they would be willing to drive the animal to the rehabilitation centre in Vancouver.
- Next the volunteer will call BCSPCA Wildlife Emergency Hotline 1-855-622-7722 for instructions.
- Not all wildlife need rescuing- they can help you decide.
- If you have found a wild animal in distress, they need help as soon as possible. Like our pets, wild animals need professional care to recover if they are sick or injured.
- It is very important to note that our volunteer network works under the direct guidance and advice of the designated provincial wildlife rehabilitation organizations (SPCA, ARC, etc.). Ours is not a renegade organization, and all of our volunteers are expected to maintain clear, open, honest and direct communication with the volunteer coordinators and with the provincial wildlife rehabilitators.
- Additional directories of wildlife rehabilitation centres in British Columbia or internationally
- The volunteer may need to assist with safely capturing the animal (without injuring the animal or the volunteer) and putting it into a well ventilated box (or a crate if more appropriate).
- Next we will need to find a driver to get the animal to the designated rehabilitation facility as quickly as possible. The volunteer coordinator will usually assist with posting to recruit drivers, but the volunteer may also be asked to help. To find a ride we will:
- POST on social media
- Instagram: @seatoskyinjuredwildlife (post in stories→ it automatically posts to facebook stories)
- Facebook: @seatoskyinjuredwildlife (please create new post on the page asking for drivers, then share the post into the following facebook groups: Whistler Winter/Summer, Hitching the Sea to Sky, UBC Rideshare, Sea to Sky road conditions
- Send a mass text / email out to all volunteer drivers.
- POST on social media
- The volunteer may be asked to care for the animal overnight if a ride cannot be found until the next day.
- The volunteer will need to maintain open and direct communication with the volunteer coordinator to provide status updates to ensure that all protocols are followed.
- Some injured wildlife will require emergency veterinary care prior to transfer. Please communicate with the volunteer coordinator prior to enlisting vet assistance.
- Here is a resource on care of wildlife that can be shared with veterinary clinics that have limited experience with treating wildlife.
- Volunteers are expected to keep the volunteer coordinator updated on the status of the patient, and to provide any requested photo or video footage. It is important for us to keep our volunteer network and the community updated on the status of the patient on social media.