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Wildlife Care Center Research and Statistics

The Wildlife Care Center provides a huge repository of data on the problems affecting urban wildlife populations. The 3,000+ animals we treat each year can tell us much about what we need to do to better live with urban wildlife.

Red-tailed Hawk X-ray - Tinsley Hunsdorfer
X-ray of an injured Red-tailed Hawk - Tinsley Hunsdorfer

The Wildlife Care Center collects and maintains a huge repository of data on the problems affecting urban wildlife populations, based on the 3-4,000 animals we treat each year. See the causes of injury for animals brought to the care center between 1995-1999 in our intake summary.

The care center also conducts its own internal research efforts and provides biological samples and statistical information to local, state and federal institutions that conduct wildlife research.

Ongoing Projects and Research

Long-billed Hawk Syndrome
In April 2006, an adult Red-tailed Hawk with a severely overgrown, rotten beak was brought to the Wildlife Care Center - our first known case of Long-billed Hawk Syndrome. Staff continue to collect information about the condition and have presented findings at wildlife conferences.

Banded Birds
The Wildlife Care Center occasionally receives banded birds. Leg bands allow scientists to track individual birds throughout their lives, a process that provides valuable information about birds' migration, behavior and life spans.

Parasite Analysis
The care center runs fecals (parasite checks) on all hospitalized animals and then tracks results and response to therapy.

Lead and Injury Incidence in Raptors
X-rays are run on raptors to determine incidence of gunshot, heavy metal ingestion or other conditions diagnosed by x-ray. With funding from the Oregon Zoo, the care center also runs blood lead levels on all raptors, as well as Turkey Vultures and Ravens. The results are compared to clinical signs and radiographic evidence of metal exposure.

Window Strike Data
The care center compiles data of window-strike birds brought to our facility to augment field research.

Phone Call Database
Staff and volunteers are in the process of accumulating and analyzing phone call data to look for trends in wildlife conflicts and to determine where we are helping or not helping people live well with wildlife.

Example Publications and Presentations

  • "Case Reports: Poisoning Cases in an Urban Wildlife Rehabilitation Center"
    Deborah Sheaffer, DVM
    Presented at 2012 ODFW Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference
  • "Preliminary Findings of Long-billed Hawk Syndrome in Oregon Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis)"
    Rob Bildfell, Wilson Rumbeiha, Deborah Sheaffer, and Colin Gillin
    Poster session presented at 2007 Association of Zoo Veterinarians annual conference
  • Final Report on Peregrine Falcon Monitoring Activities at the Fremont, Saint Johns, Interstate and Abernathy Bridges
    Bob Sallinger
    Audubon Society of Portland, September 2001

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