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Intake Summary

See the causes of injury for animals brought to Portland Audubon's Wildlife Care Center from 1995-1999.

Wildlife rehabilitation facilities are often on the front lines of identifying and understanding problems facing local wildlife populations.

The 3-4,000 injured wild animals passing through the Wildlife Care Center each year can tell us a great deal about the impacts of disease, habitat destruction and anthropogenic (human caused) activities on local wildlife. The information gathered helps us determine what kinds of educational outreach, management strategies, and regulatory and non-regulatory programs will best protect wildlife diversity in the Metro region.

The following is a breakdown of the types of injuries the care center saw between 1995-1999.

Cause of Injury by Year, 1995-1999

Cause of Injury 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
Unknown 386  (16%) 428  (16%) 592  (22%) 649  (22%) 585  (21%)
Cat Caught 560  (23%) 598  (22%) 596  (22%) 689  (24%) 527  (19%)
Human Interference[1] 401  (16%) 388  (14%) 482  (18%) 439  (15%) 401  (15%)
Hit by Car 397  (16%) 364  (14%) 318  (12%) 391  (13%) 359  (13%)
Orphaned[2] 80  (3%) 125  (5%) 252  (9%) 256  (9%) 319  (12%)
Hit Window 141   (6%) 176  (7%) 112  (4%) 145  (5%) 123  (4%)
Dog Caught 66  (3%) 86  (3%) 77  (3%) 80  (3%) 91  (3%)
Habitat Destruction 23  (1%) 15  (<1%) 46  (2%) 60  (2%) 45  (2%)
Gunshot 20  (<1%) 13  (<1%) 21  (1%) 13 (<1%) 25  (>1%)
Poison 5  (<1%) 9  (<1%) 23  (1%) 9  (<1%) 30  (1%)
Other 380  (15%) 490  (18%) 205  (7%) 173 (6%) 275  (10%)

[1] "Human Interference" refers to situations where humans, often with the best of intentions, remove young birds and mammals from the wild, mistakenly believing that they are in need of “rescuing.” The most common reason cited for human interference situations is “fear of cat predation.”

[2] The most common causes for “orphaning” of animals brought to the Wildlife Care Center  is mother mallards being struck by cars as they attempt to cross roads with ducklings and adult songbirds being killed by cats as they attempt to protect fledglings that are on the ground while they learn to fly.


Historic Intake Account

Lillian Post Eliot with Western Tanager

Portland Audubon has been taking in injured and orphaned animals for decades. Get a snapshot of our intakes from 1944 with Lillian Post Eliot’s report to the Audubon Board of Directors regarding the animals treated at the “Bird Clinic."

"The Bird Clinic cared for 52 birds including 16 species. Of these 28 were liberated and 24 died. Twenty were robins, the others were flickers, black-headed grosbeaks, greenback goldfinch, hummers, nighthawks, pheasants, band-tailed pigeons, tanagers, russet-back thrushes, savannah and song sparrows, violet green swallows and waxwings. Some were nestlings that needed careful raising but many were badly injured, and some with only one wing, cats having amputated the other. Altogether Mrs. Eliot had a very busy summer. It took most of her 'spare' time and often got her out of bed in the wee small hours of the morning to get the babies and cripples cared for. The results have been noted in much increased interest in the sanctuary by those who brought in birds, and in many memberships."

Learn more about Eliot's role in the history of Portland Audubon.

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