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The Alabama Wildlife Center offers internships and volunteering. The following was copied from their website: http://www.awrc.org/



Volunteer ProgramEdit

The Alabama Wildlife Center is operated almost entirely by volunteers, supervised by a small, highly dedicated professional staff. Most Wildlife Center activities are organized as Programs or "Teams" with special training available for new volunteers. (A few teams require some experience as an Animal Care Assistant as a prerequisite for participation.)

Volunteers are welcome to enroll for one or more programs or teams, but we would like you to think carefully before over-committing yourself. As Alabama's oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation center, many thousands of wild creatures are depending on us for help. We have to be able to depend on You, the active volunteer -- we can't do the job without you!!

ANIMAL CAREEdit

Trained animal care volunteers working under supervision at the Wildlife Center provide care for wild orphans of all kinds, from nestling songbirds, hawks, and owls to baby beavers, squirrels, and fawns. Volunteers learn details of feeding and behavior for each species, as well as special techniques to keep these young wild creatures truly wild. These shifts are 8 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.; 12:30 p.m. - 5 p.m.; and 5 p.m. - 9 p.m., 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

WILDLIFE HOTLINEEdit

Trained hotline volunteers working at home pick up calls from our answering service. The volunteers return the calls and give advice about how to keep wild babies with their natural parents, or, if the babies are truly orphans, they can refer the callers to the Wildlife Center. Well over half of the calls received by the hotline result in reuniting the babies with their natural mother. Volunteers also handle many different types of nuisance problems and offer emergency procedures for injured wildlife, etc. These shifts are 8 a.m. - noon; noon - 5 p.m. and 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. each and every day of the year.

TRANSPORTEdit

It takes a lot of transport to provide care for wild creatures from all over Alabama. A state-wide network of trained volunteers helps to relay injured and orphaned raptors to and from the Wildlife Center. You don't have to be from the Birmingham area to help out. We are also in constant need of local transport for the animals. Transport volunteers are on call as needed.

WILDLIFE FOSTER PARENTSEdit

We need extra help during the peak season to care for the many infant mammals of low-risk, common species such as opossums and squirrels. Trained volunteers care for the young wildlings in their homes, under the supervision of the Foster Parent Supervisor. Like the orphans raised at the Center, these are not pets, but young wild creatures preparing for life in the wild. This is a wonderful project for families, but at least one parent must be the primary care-giver.

WILDLIFE TOUR GUIDES & EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMSEdit

Trained volunteers help visitors tour the Alabama Wildlife Center and learn about native wildlife by showing them the wild creatures being cared for, and by explaining the special techniques we use in caring for them. Volunteers may also visit schools, scouts, and civic groups to give slide-illustrated programs about the Wildlife Center. A four-hour weekly shift is preferred, but notrequired.

GARDEN, GROUNDSKEEPING TEAMEdit

These volunteers keep the Wildlife Center gardens and lawn looking neat, trim, colorful, and attractive.

BUILDING MAINTENANCE TEAMEdit

These volunteers keep the preventative maintenance end of The Wildlife Center in tip-top shape by routinely checking, fixing, and replacing as necessary, things like washers in faucets, light bulbs, water hoses, emergency equipment, etc.

OFFICE SUPPORT TEAMEdit

These volunteers can assist the office manager in any of the following ways, and will be trained according to the time the volunteer has to offer and his or her interest as well as skills: using copy machine; assisting in preparation for volunteer training, bulk mail-outs; typing of envelopes; preparation of miscellaneous mail-outs; setting up files for the new year, filing, etc.

Remember, we depend on volunteers to help us provide the care these native wild creatures must have. Some of the work is strenuous and you can definitely expect to get your hands dirty, but if you don't mind a little hard work, the wild animals of Alabama really need your support! Without your help, we just can't do the job!

Internship ProgramEdit

The Alabama Wildlife Center’s Internship program trains its post-graduate interns to take the lead in monitoring wildlife patients, planning their rehabilitation and supervising their care. Internships are for a minimum of one year, and often lead to permanent positions with the Center. For more information, e-mail us at wildlife@awrc.org.


Raptor InternEdit

Jessie, our Raptor Intern, is a graduate of the University of Georgia, where she earned a Bachelor's Degree in Forest Resources with a concentration in Wildlife Management. She worked as an intern at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge in the Outer Banks of North Carolina before joining the intern staff at The Wildlife Center.

ResponsibilitiesEdit

The Raptor Intern works directly under the supervision of the Rehabilitation Director to coordinate the care of approximately 600 native birds of prey annually during all stages of rehabilitation in order to prepare them to return to the wild. Daily duties include: Assisting in admissions exams, supportive care and medical treatments, carrying out routine daily care and feeding of convalescent birds, and coordinating individual release prep plans for all releasable raptors. Also, the intern is responsible for the care of non-releasable raptors in extensive educational display facility. Raptor Intern will coordinate care of juvenile raptors through re-nesting and hacking programs, and will assist with rescue of raptors trapped in large buildings.

The Raptor Intern receives training and performs duties in the following areas of raptor care:

Raptor RescueEdit

Field rescue of trapped and downed raptors; re-nesting of nestling hawks, owls and vultures; and coordination of transport for injured and orphaned raptors from all parts of Alabama.

Emergency Hotline and AdmissionsEdit

Receives training to provide advice and assistance for Hotline calls on a wide range of wildlife emergencies, and also to perform admissions interviews with the public for wildlife patients being admitted to the center.

Evaluation and Initial Care of New PatientsEdit

Receives training to perform competent examination and evaluation of new raptor patients, along with performing stabilizing treatments for dehydration and emaciation, palpation of fractures and management of wounds, as well as recognition of symptoms of common diseases and parasites of raptors.

Management of Intensive Care and Convalescent RaptorsEdit

Housing, handling and feeding of intensive care and convalescent raptors, as well as nestlings and fledglings.

Management of Non-releasable Education RaptorsEdit

Daily feeding and cleaning, management of housing and furnishings such as perches, substrate, and water bowls, security concerns and general animal well-being, as well as maintaining good condition of beaks, talons, feet and feathers.

Release Prep Planning and DevelopingEdit

Works with the Rehabilitation Director on researching and developing special housing and foraging plans appropriate to each species and prepares and maintains appropriate facilities as needed. The Wildlife Center currently has four hacking stations at different locations for the rearing and gradual release of nestling raptors. The Raptor Intern is trained to manage a program of hacking for Red-tailed Hawks, Red-shouldered Hawks, Broad-winged Hawks, Cooper's Hawks and American Kestrels.

Release Prep MonitoringEdit

Daily monitoring of foraging, socialization, weatherproofing, and general adjustment to release prep habitat, in order to ensure that animals are progressing normally.

Cleaning and FeedingEdit

Daily cleaning and maintenance of all cages, service areas and adjacent grounds associated with indoor convalescent and outdoor release prep facilities.

Food Animal Ordering and CareEdit

The Raptor Intern is responsible for ordering and maintaining an adequate supply of live and frozen rodents for all predatory animals at the Wildlife Center, and will coordinate the weekly rodent order with the Release Prep Facility at Smyer Lake. Also responsible for daily care and maintenance of the Center's live rodents.

Release Assessment and SchedulingEdit

The Raptor Intern will maintain records on each patient being prepared for release and will work with the Rehabilitation Director to develop a Release Plan for each bird or group of birds, with target dates for foraging skills, fitness assessments and tentative release dates which can be re-assessed periodically.

Species HandledEdit

Raptors handled routinely at the Wildlife Center are: Red-tailed Hawks, Red-shouldered Hawks, Broad-winged Hawks, Cooper's Hawks, Sharp-shinned Hawks, American Kestrels, Black Vultures, Turkey Vultures, Great Horned Owls, Barred Owls, Screech Owls and Barn Owls. Peregrine Falcons, Merlins, Northern Harriers, Mississippi Kites, Short-eared Owls, Ospreys, and Bald and Golden Eagles are occasionally handled.

Avian InternEdit

Katie, our Avian Intern, earned a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alabama. She currently is working on a Master's in Molecular Biology. She conducted research in thermodynamics as an intern at Harrison Radiator and currently is researching the metabolism and intestinal performance of Garter Snakes during hibernation.

ResponsibilitiesEdit

The Avian Intern works directly under the supervision of the Rehabilitation Director to coordinate the care of all avian species other than birds of prey during all stages of rehabilitation in order to prepare them to return to the wild. Daily duties include: Assisting in admissions exams, supportive care and medical treatments, carrying out routine daily care and feeding of convalescent birds, and coordinating individual release prep plans for all releasable birds. The intern is also responsible for the care of non-releasable birds. The Avian Intern will coordinate care of any juvenile birds being returned to their parents, and also the fostering of young birds to the nests or nest boxes of foster parents.

The Avian Intern receives training and performs duties in the following areas:

AdmissionsEdit

Evaluation and Initial Care Protocols Receives training to perform competent examination and evaluation of new patients, along with performing stabilizing treatments for dehydration and emaciation, palpation of fractures and management of wounds, as well as recognition of symptoms of common diseases and parasites of birds.

Emergency Hotline and AdmissionsEdit

Receives training to provide advice and assistance for Hotline calls on a wide range of wildlife emergencies, and also to perform admissions interviews with the public for wildlife patients being admitted to the center.

Management of Intensive Care and Convalescent BirdsEdit

Housing, handling and feeding of intensive care and convalescent birds, as well as nestlings and fledglings.

Release Prep Planning and DevelopingEdit

The Avian Intern must be prepared to work with a broad range of species, including wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, and perching birds. The Avian Intern works with the Rehabilitation Director on researching and developing special housing and foraging plans appropriate to each species and prepares and maintains appropriate facilities as needed. The Avian Intern also maintains permanent casebooks on all successful rehabilitation of unusual species, so that techniques developed for that species can be readily accessed when the need arises.

Release Prep MonitoringEdit

Daily monitoring of foraging, socialization, weatherproofing, and general adjustment to release prep habitat, in order to ensure that birds are progressing normally.

Cleaning and FeedingEdit

Daily cleaning and maintenance of all cages, service areas and adjacent grounds associated with indoor convalescent and outdoor release prep facilities.

Food Animal Ordering and CareEdit

The Avian Intern is responsible for ordering and maintaining an adequate supply of mealworms and crickets for the use of all Wildlife Center patients, regardless of species. As much as possible, the Avian Intern will maintain a breeding colony of mealworms to reduce the cost of this expensive food item.

Release Assessment and SchedulingEdit

The Avian Intern will maintain records on each patient being prepared for release and will work with the Rehabilitation Director to develop a Release Plan for each bird or group of birds, with target dates for foraging skills, fitness assessments and tentative release dates which can be re-assessed periodically.

Species HandledEdit

The Alabama Wildlife Center receives a large variety of songbirds, such as Belted Kingfishers, Tufted Titmice, and Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, as well as some wading birds, such as Great Blue Herons and Mallards. Some of the more common species include: American Robins, Carolina Wrens, Chimney Swifts, Mockingbirds, Mourning Doves and House Finches.

Mammal InternEdit

Ana, our Mammal Intern, is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Ecology.

ResponsibilitiesEdit

The Mammal Intern works under the supervision of the Rehabilitation Director to provide daily care for approximately 500 native mammals annually during all stages of rehabilitation in order to prepare them to return to the wild. Daily duties include: performing admission exams, supportive care and prescribed medical treatments, carrying out routine daily care and feeding of infant, juvenile, or injured adult mammals, collecting laboratory samples, coordinating veterinary visits, coordinating release preparation plans.

The Mammal Intern will receive training and perform duties in the following areas of mammal care:

Methods on reuniting healthy orphansEdit

Many baby mammals are "kidnapped" by well-meaning individuals. The Mammal Intern will assist the public in reuniting baby mammals with their mothers.

Handling procedures for low- and high-risk rabies carriersEdit

The Mammal Intern will receive training in the appropriate age and species-specific handling procedures to reduce the risk of injury and exposure to disease, and also to promote stress reduction.

Admissions evaluation and initial care protocolsEdit

The Mammal Intern will receive training and be expected to perform competent examinations and evaluations of new mammal cases. This will also include performing stabilization treatments for dehydration and emaciation, palpation of fractures and management of wounds, following standard quarantine protocols for high-risk species, and the recognition of symptoms of common diseases and parasites. Training in humane euthanasia will also be provided.

Emergency Hotline and AdmissionsEdit

Receives training to provide advice and assistance for Hotline calls on a wide range of wildlife emergencies, and also to perform admissions interviews with the public for wildlife patients being admitted to the center.

Management of intensive care and convalescent mammalsEdit

Training in providing species- and age-appropriate housing, handling and feeding of infant, juvenile, and injured adult mammals will be provided.

Release Prep monitoringEdit

Responsibilities will include daily monitoring of foraging, socialization, weatherproofing, and general adjustment to release preparation habitats, in order to ensure that animals are progressing normally.

Cleaning and feedingEdit

Working with available volunteer help, the Mammal Intern will be responsible for daily cleaning and maintenance of all cages, service areas and adjacent areas associated with indoor nursery, convalescent, and release prep facilities for mammals.

Food and medical supplies ordering and care of food animalsEdit

The Mammal Intern will be responsible for ordering and maintaining a supply of milk formulas, nutritional supplements, medical supplies and food animals used during release preparation.

Record keeping, assessment, and schedulingEdit

The Mammal Intern will maintain written records on each mammal case during all stages of rehabilitation. The Mammal Intern will work with the Mammal Supervisor to develop weaning target dates, vaccination and de-worming schedules, target dates for foraging and/or hunting skills, fitness assessment, and tentative release dates.

Species HandledEdit

Mammals received at the Alabama Wildlife Rehabilitation Center are largely orphans. The Center commonly receives white-tailed deer fawns, beaver, woodchucks, raccoons, bats (primarily little brown, red, hoary, and Mexican free-tail), and red and grey foxes. Armadillos, mink, otter, and bobcat, coyotes, weasels, striped and spotted skunks are received less frequently. Admissions of the very common species—grey squirrels, opossums, and cottontail rabbits—are limited to avoid over-straining the Center’s resources.

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