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Wildlife Center of Virginia to host virtual conference this month

WCV patient_American Toad.JPG
Wildlife Center of Virginia
An American Toad patient getting treatment at the Wildlife Center.

The Wildlife Center of Virginia, based in Waynesboro, is hosting its 27th annual conference November 18-20. WMRA's Randi B. Hagi reports.

The Call of the Wild conference brings together researchers, rehabilitators, and conservationists to share their knowledge about wildlife.

ALEX WEHRUNG: Our program schedule includes 30 unique sessions that span a pretty broad spectrum of topics.

Alex Wehrung is the organization's public affairs manager.

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Carl Huang
Alex Wehrung with one of the center's educational ambassador animals: Verlon the American Kestrel.

WEHRUNG: Some of those are universal, hard skills that wildlife rehabilitators need to know – stuff like how to bandage an injured bird's broken leg, for example. Other topics and presentations are especially relevant for the year 2022. One that I'm particularly looking forward to is an overview of HPAI – Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza.

The conference has taken place entirely online since 2020, which has allowed its reach to blossom – the number of participants has jumped from the mid-200s to nearly 400 for the past two years. All the sessions will be archived and available online through the end of the year.

WEHRUNG: The overall goal of the conference, and this is its 27th year, is to bring together wildlife rehabilitators, veterinary professionals, wildlife biologists, educators, and really even wildlife enthusiasts who aren't involved professionally, from all around the country to share ideas and share the knowledge that can benefit wildlife and the environment.

Many sessions count towards the continuing education credits that rehabilitators need to keep up their permits with the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources.

To learn more, visit wildlifecenter.org.

Randi B. Hagi first joined the WMRA team in 2019 as a freelance reporter. Her writing and photography have been featured in The Harrisonburg Citizen, where she previously served as the assistant editor; as well as The Mennonite; Mennonite World Review; and Eastern Mennonite University's Crossroads magazine.