Spotted Turtle Survival Project (SPOTD)
This has been an exciting, productive year for Wild4Ever and our conservation partners!
The big excitement this year surrounded events in our on-going, multi-institutional Spotted Turtle Project (SPOTD). 2017 saw the utilization of new habitats created by one of our partners, The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, and our first release of head-started spotted turtles raised at the Barberton Veterinary Clinic and Greater Cleveland Aquarium facilities. The six turtles released this year were hatched at the Barberton Veterinary Clinic and reared for the last 3 years at the Aquarium. The hatchlings were prepped for their adventure by converting them to natural diets procured in their future home, adjusting light and temperature parameters to match those they would encounter in the wild, and by placement of VHF transmitters on each of our “turtle ambassadors” to allow us to track their movements after release.
Immediately prior to release, the young spotted turtles spent a 30-day acclimation period in an enclosure built on the release site. The enclosure was monitored by our college interns and by cameras within the enclosure. USDA field personnel helped protect the hatchlings along with Wild4Ever volunteers, the Aquarium, and Museum staff. After the acclimation period, the hatchlings were released into the wild. A video of the release and project summary was produced by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. With their release, the turtles continue to be monitored by cameras and individual radio-tracking.
The program to date has been very successful as the turtles seem to be thriving in their new environment! We will continue tracking throughout 2018 and beyond to gain valuable data on their acclimation and post release movements. W4E has supported this program by in-kind donations of staff time and equipment at the Barberton Veterinary Clinic, by contributions of field equipment, and by funding support, along with the Greater Cleveland Aquarium’s Splash Fund, of college wildlife interns participating in our project. For the coming year we are planning to expand the project to search new potential populations, to increase current populations, and to work with conservation partners to investigate the genetic factors that influence this threatened population’s long-term survival. 2018 will be a busy year!
In addition to the Northern part of the spotted turtle project, W4E in 2017 also supported the spotted turtle work in Summit and Stark counties with Summit Metro Parks and Stark Parks conservation staffs. These programs are also ramping-up for 2018. We hope to introduce young hatchling spotted turtles to the south next summer as well!
Wildlife Medical Treatment and Rehabilitation
Throughout 2017 we have continued our on-going wildlife rehabilitation work with Stark Parks and other wildlife rehabilitation partners, Project Orphan and The Conservation Center, as well as injured wildlife dropped off by the public. Our veterinary staff has examined and treated hundreds of injured wildlife cases in 2017 at no cost to Wild4Ever or their conservation partners. This has been a busy wildlife year with a wildlife cases ranging from reptiles and amphibians to many species of birds and mammals. These patients are all examined by our veterinary staff and depending on the nature of their injury, their care may involve lab work, radiographs, ultrasound, surgery, medical treatment and/or hospitalization and rehabilitative care. The wildlife staff at Stark Parks handles their follow-up care and rehabilitation prior to release.
We are all looking forward to the finished construction of Stark Parks’ new Conservation Center, including the Wild4Ever funded Raptor Flight Rehabilitation Building which will better prepare rehabilitated wildlife to survive after their release back into the wild back in the wild.
College Wildlife Intern Support
Wild4ever supports wildlife initiatives locally and outside of our region including the SPLASH non-profit conservation fund serving the Lake Erie region in support of college conservation interns earning college credit for their work helping NE Ohio’s wildlife.
Wild4Ever Memorial Program
The Wild4Ever Memorial Program gives pet owners and veterinarians a way to leave a lasting tribute in remembrance of their beloved pets and clients pets via donations. 100% of donations support local wildlife and conservation efforts. Helping animals in need is a great way to remember a good friend and a valued client!
Northern Jaguar Project
Our latest efforts to support jaguar conservation includes support of the Northern Jaguar Project. This is an exciting project involving U.S. and Mexican conservationists working together to protect jaguar and their habitat across our shared borders, allowing the re-establishment of historic U.S. jaguar populations in Northern Mexico and the U.S. Southwest habitat. This project, carried out by a group of very dedicated conservationists from both countries, is showing very successful results.
As a keystone predator, jaguar are known to significantly influence the tropical forested and savanna ecosystems. Threats to jaguar include habitat destruction from cattle ranching, agriculture, logging and extraction activities. Northwest Nazarene University in partnership with Osa Conservacion, La Amastad Wildlife Refuges and Organization for Tropical Studies will be monitoring jaguar populations in southern Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula and in Talamanca in the La Amistad southwestern region. Osa Peninsula is home to at least half of all species living in Costa Rica, much of which is a protected wildlife forest preserve. The Talamanca mountain forests are an important eco-system for many plant, bird and animal species including large mammals such as jaguar, puma and tapir.
Forty remote cameras will be set in June/July 2014 to consistently monitor the jaguars. This method is non-invasive and efficient at capturing large amounts of data. Working in collaboration with Costa Rican researchers on long-term data collection, tracking stations will be set to better document jaguar and their potential prey in areas most likely to be travelled by them. The project also includes workshops in local communities of Osa Peninsula and Talamancas to better understand the perceptions, attitudes and activities related to jaguar-human interactions in this part of Costa Rica. Wild4Ever is proud to be a major contributor in this very important project which will lay the groundwork for more intense efforts in 2015 and years to follow. If you’d like to contribute to Jaguar Preservation, select the tab upon checkout on our donation page.
UPDATE: The Costa Rica Jaguar Monitoring Project enjoyed a very productive start-up year. The research group which includes Dr. Leslie Hay, Associate Professor of Biology at Northwest Nazarene University, faculty staff, undergraduate students and local Costa Rican naturalists, were able to establish multiple data collection sites in two wildlife refuges that generated data collection throughout the year to aid in wildlife conservation and local community wildlife education efforts. Information is also being presented by the students at a wildlife conservation conference.
Forty cameras were used continuously since June 2014 in two high and low elevation sites in Costa Rica. The preliminary results indicate differential frequencies of felids and other mammals between high and low elevations. Felids demonstrate higher abundance in the high elevation location. Prey species show different species composition between the two sites, with larger mammalian prey in higher abundance in the lower elevation sites. Another low elevation site was added at the end of 2014 by relocating some cameras, which will provide some comparisons between forest types, as well as landscape fragmentation. Scent lures at the trail camera stations demonstrated that numerous wildlife species are interested in the lures. This camera monitoring project provides important information to document the presence of all five species of Felids, as well as the complement of other forest mammals including prey. The research group also visited two schools and distributed school supplies to enhance student education and also developed a longer-term plan with environmental education outreach for assisting the schools with supplies. After site visits and meetings with station managers and environmental education specialists a draft community outreach poster for jaguar conservation in Costa Rica was developed to be translated and dispersed in May 2015.
Our research team will be back in Costa Rica again in May 2015 with 40 additional cameras.
- Increase trail camera monitoring efforts through adding cameras to high and low elevation sites in both primary and secondary forests.
- Expand abilities to recognize individual jaguar and other mammals through using double cameras at each camera station.
- Conduct experiments of scent lures with captive jaguars at a wildlife rescue center in northern Costa Rica.
- Continue community member interviews and school outreach to better understand the environmental education needs.
- Conduct an environmental education outreach workshop in collaboration with the reserve managers in June 2015.
Spotted Turtles are a threatened species in Ohio therefore protecting their habitat is vital to their survival. Wild4Ever is working with The Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo, Cleveland Metroparks, Lake Metro Parks, Medina County Parks, Summit Metroparks, Geauga Park District, USDA/APHIS, Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Greater Cleveland Aquarium along with other collaborators in the SPOTD PROJECT. This long-term project works to protect environments, assess turtle health status, research genetic diversity and augment hatchling survival by collecting spotted turtle eggs for captive rearing/release once they reach a size that is more advantageous to their survival. In addition to our most recent fundraiser “WildNite4Wildlife” which raised over $18,000.00 for this ongoing project, Wild4Ever has provided funding for surveys, ID chips, transponders and telemetry equipment as well as genetic testing.
STATUS: 2014 has been an exciting year for the SPOTD Project. This years events include:
- Discovery of additional Spotted Turtle populations (Summit Metro Parks)
- Habitat creation (Cleveland Museum of Natural History)
- Successful hatching of spotted turtles and head-starting at North Coast Bird & Exotic Specialties (Wild4Ever rehabilitation site), Cleveland Metroparks Zoo and The Greater Cleveland Aquarium.
- Initial wild population health analysis and genetic mapping
Phase II will include more habitat creation, turtle surveys and re-establishment of captive raised spotted turtles into their natural habitats in 2015. Surveys will begin in May. You can contribute to our Local Wildlife Projects by selecting the Local Wildlife tab on the drop down menu on our donation page.
Wild4Ever is proud that its primary focus is the preservation of local wild habitats and conservation issues along with the support of local conservation groups and animal sanctuaries. We support Summit Metro Parks, Stark Parks, Medina Raptor and Project Orphan among others. From its inception, one of Wild4Ever’s focuses has been on supporting injured wildlife providing no-cost treatment for hundreds of injured wildlife cases annually.
Thousands of cetaceans are killed in Japanese waters each year. From Sept 1 through March dolphins, small whales and porpoises are captured and brutally killed in Taiji. Wild dolphins are herded from the open ocean into a hidden shallow bay known as “The Cove” where entire pods are captured for the purpose of entertainment and sent to aquariums and marine parks around the world. The less attractive dolphins are tortured and killed by a technique called “pithing”, leaving the still conscious dolphins paralyzed and drowning in their own blood. Volunteers from around the world work to achieve permanent freedom for dolphins and whales in Taiji. Click here to support marine mammals.
The Asian Black Bear or “Moon Bear” is classified as a vulnerable species due to deforestation, hunting for body parts and the barbaric practice of bear-bile farming. Thousands of bears are kept in horrendous conditions in “factories” to have their bile harvested for traditional Asian medicine. Bear bile is a digestive juice produced by the liver and stored in the gall-bladder. The extraction process is painful and leaves the bears with long-term health problems. They live their entire lives in small, cramped cages suffering from severe neglect, starvation, untreated injuries, crippling disabilities and amputations. The bears are often left to die or killed for their paws or gall bladder. If you would like to help us contribute to the rescue and rehabilitation of moon bears Donate Now and select Bear Farming on the drop down menu.
The annual Philly Run Wild 5K run/walk held on April 27, 2014 in Philadelphia was a huge success! With over 1,100 participants in attendance, Orangutan Foundation International raised a record-breaking $36,800.00 for Bornean orangutan conservation! We were happy to sponsor this event for the past two years. With deforestation becoming a critical issue, the orangutans habitat is extremely threatened. If you would like to be a part of this crucial conservation effort to help protect endangered orangutans select the Rainforest/Deforestation tab on the drop down menu upon checkout.
Photos courtesy OFI.
Kibale Wood Fuel Project
Wild4Ever is a supporter of the Kibale Fuel Wood Project. Since 2006, New Nature Foundation has been working to protect Kibale National Park from encroachment and improve park/people relations by facilitating energy stability in surrounding villages. Kibale National Park is home to the densest primate population in all of Africa, over 300 bird species and many other mammals, reptiles, amphibians and fish species that are facing severe threat due to deforestation.Wood and charcoal are the sole sources of energy for more than 98% of the people around Kibale. Fuel efficient stoves are having a major impact on the amount of wood being used by villagers saving over 3.3 million pounds of wood per year that would have otherwise been cut down. Today, many are constructing their own stoves without assistance. Equally important is educating locals to use their own homegrown firewood, native fast growing trees that provide immense amounts of fuel wood, plays an important role in protecting KNP and it’s wildlife. Click here for the Spring-2014-UPDATE.
Health In Harmony’s Reforestation project studies methods to reverse the trend of forest loss and also educates communities about the value of rainforest while providing them opportunities to participate in restoring damaged areas. Now in their fifth year of reforestation, areas inside Gunung Palung National Park that were once denuded and dominated by invasive grass are successfully supporting native tree regeneration.The planting process increases scientific knowledge, while providing productive paid employment for villagers in preparing, planting, and caring for the seedlings to ensure the area grows into lush, green forest. Working with villagers around a devastated area where a logging company illegally cleared over 100 hectares (250 acres) of rainforest, twenty years ago they have replanted twenty hectares of this area in the past 4 years, and 6 more hectares in 2012 to restore a key “orangutan corridor” – a reforested bridge between larger habitat areas – that will once again allow these and other animals free movement and the opportunity to breed.
UPDATE: Sedahan, where the ASRI reforestation team planted 2 hectares of trees in 2012 to reconnect 2 pieces of the Gunung Palung forest, is now home to orangutan nests! This piece of land was identified as a critical corridor for allowing groups to move between habitats. Nests have been spotted in the trees in Sedahan, showing that all the hard work and investment has paid off and orangutans are traveling through the reforestation site! Read more here.
Photos Courtesy Health in Harmony
For over 40 years, the Alliance for the Great Lakes has stood to conserve and restore the world’s largest surface freshwater resource. It is the oldest Great Lakes Organization devoted 100% to the lakes. A strong volunteer network of community groups, teachers, scientists, policy makers and businesses work hard to sustain and preserve the region for all generations. Pollution, invasive species and wasteful use of water all threaten our Great Lakes. The Alliance and its supporters are working on these threats to sustain a thriving ecosystem for the lakes and their inhabitants. Wild4Ever continues to support the Alliance in 2014 and their efforts to help secure the future of our Great Lakes for generations of people and wildlife.
ONAPA is dedicated to promoting, protecting and improving Ohio’s natural areas and preserves. The main objective is to help establish and support local nature preserve friends throughout Ohio for both state and non-state natural areas, to provide a support group for the sustainable management of state nature preserves and other natural areas state-wide, to educate, promote and advance natural area issues within the Ohio General Assembly as well as the general public, and also to promote the protection of rare species of plants animals and rare eco-systems. Wild4Ever places immeasurable importance in the preservation of natural areas to sustain flora and fauna as it was intended and we are happy to support ONAPA again in 2014.
Rivers Unlimited is an Ohio statewide group of organizations with the mission to restore, maintain and improve Ohio’s rivers and streams, their water quality, scenic beauty, their multiple economic uses and their effect upon Ohio’s quality of life. Current issues include water pollution, hydraulic fracturing (fracking), gravel mining and dams. The Scenic Rivers Program was established within the OhioDepartment of Natural Resources in 1968, and was the first of its kind in thenation, even pre-dating the Federal equivalent. It set the bar for promoting conservation of Ohio’s best rivers while respecting private property rights, and established criteria for recognizing three degrees of ‘pristine-ness’ – Wild, Scenic, and Recreational. Designated rivers have proven to beeconomic drivers in their regions, lifting property values and in some cases establishing conditions favorable for recreational tourism. In all cases, designated rivers enhance the quality of life for those who live near them and love them.
Wild4Ever supports The Amphibian and Reptile Conservancy in it’s efforts to create four ephemeral wetlands in southern Ohio. ARC, along with it’s partners, The Unversaw & Cracchiolo Farm, The Center for Wetlands and Stream Restoration, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Association of State Wetland Managers and The Sheltowee Environmental Education Coaltion are restoring wetlands on former farmland near Mt. Orab, Ohio and turning it into a wildlife mecca. These four ephemeral wetlands will shore up remnant populations of locally rare species such as Blue Spotted Salamander, Eastern Spadefoot, Eastern Cricket Frog and Wood Frog, as well as many more resilient, common species. This multi-wetland project will also serve as a training workshop for other landowners and habitat managers. More wetlands will be restored, multiplying the benefits for additional amphibian populations. The purpose of ARC is to improve native amphibian and reptile habitats, promote conservation education and applied conservation, and to provide support services for herpetofaunal conservation partners and actions.
UPDATE: ARC had identified additional urgently needed habitat improvements and will restore at least one wetland that benefits critically at risk species, at least one wetland with a strong professional training component for landowners and habitat managers, and at least one “living laboratory” wetland on a school campus that will benefit generations of students for decades to come.
Wild4Ever is a partner in Summit County Metro Parks long-range coyote project. This multi-year project, in conjunction with Cleveland Metroparks, the Ohio State University, University of Akron, the National Park Service and the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources will assess the range, disease concerns, and impact of the growing coyote population on other native wildlife and urban populations. We will examine and undertake full health screens on coyotes from a variety of natural habitats followed by radio and cell phone collar monitoring over the ensuing years. For more information watch the Metro Parks video In Search Of Coyotes or click here for the ODOW Coyote Project Update 2013.
For the first time in Venezuela, reliable information on the geographic distribution of bird species is being produced. Geographic distribution maps are useless without metadata; the maps produced with this project have metadata which are more useful in monitoring the vulnerability of raptors species. Click here for 2013 Progress report: RaptorsInVenezuela
Operation Orphan is a non-profit wildlife rehab organization located in Akron, OH. Founder Fran Kitchen and volunteers accept orphaned and injured animals into care for medical treatment, feed, house and care for them until they are sufficiently rehabilitated for release. Operation Orphan relies on private donations and community involvement to be successful and operates on a 100% volunteer basis. Wild4Ever supports Operation Orphan by providing medical care, housing enclosures and microchip supplies for rescued wildlife.
Rain forests cover only 2% of the earth’s surface yet they provide habitat and nutritional support for nearly half of the earth’s living species. In our continued efforts to support rain forest endeavors, we have organized a donation match program. For every $10 collected, Wild4Ever matches the donation to double your contribution and maximize support for this much needed conservation effort. $100 can save 25,000 sq ft of rain forest!
Recycle For Wildlife
Americans throw away enough office and writing paper annually to build a wall 12 feet high stretching from Los Angeles to New York City. Recycling paper saves trees, water, electricity and landfill space. Visit one of our paper collection centers located @ 4873 Richland Ave. Norton or 1053 S. Cleveland-Massillon Rd. in Copley with your junk mail, magazines, cardboard, flattened/cut up boxes and newspapers. All paper products are accepted and every little bit helps. 100% of proceeds are used to support local wildlife!
Outside Is IN
The Outside is In Program is an educational overnight camp experience and day in the Metro Parks designed to help connect youth and adults to their nearby park system by providing outdoor activities with nature in a fun, safe and unique way. Outside is In is a partnership between Friends of Metro Parks, Akron Public Schools, YMCA Camp Y-Noah, and Summit County Metro Parks. Wild4Ever is a continued sponsor of this program which helps provide more than six hundred 6th graders from the Akron Public Schools an opportunity to enjoy naturalist led hikes and other outdoor educational activities. Begun in 2009, the program was inspired by Richard Louv’s book “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder” and is based on the Ohio Revised Standards and Model Curriculum for 6th grade. Friends of Metro Parks advocates the protection and enhancement of the parks system with the hope of building a new generation of park visitors as well as encouraging an interest in the natural sciences.
Wild4Ever, with the help of Summit Metro Parks funded the construction of a condominium for a local bat population. The condo was placed on private property in Geauga County and will serve as maternity roost for thousands of big and little brown bats who raise their young together in colonies during the summer. Local bat populations face many survival risks including habitat destruction, pesticide use and white-nose syndrome. White-nose syndrome kills bats during hibernation and is greatly affecting little brown and big brown bat populations in the eastern United States. Providing this bat condominium will assure this local established maternity colony will have a place to raise their young for generations to come.
Mexico: Wild4Ever was a project contributor for trail camera surveillance project to prevent habitat destruction by demonstrating the jaguar and other wildlife’s utilization of the habitat.
Guatemala & Nicaragua: Wild4Ever sponsored the Wildlife Conservation Society’s JAGUARS FOREVER Environmental Education Workshop. These three-day workshops were held in Guatemala, and on the edge of the Bosawas Biosphere Reserve in Nicaragua. They were attended by school teachers from Nicaragua and Guatemala for three day training courses on the WCS’S JAGUARS FOREVER curriculum. This curriculum teaches human-jaguar coexistence in areas of historical jaguar hunting. Over 30 school teachers from 11 communities attended each workshop that will aid jaguar conservation for years to come by educating the children of today and adults of tomorrow. The lesson plans reinforce the benefits and pride to be had by preserving local wildlife and wild areas.
Ecuador: The WCS JAGUARS FOREVER Program is a 3-day intensive training workshop held in El Coca, Ecuadorian Amazon. Like the previous years’ programs, JAGUARS FOREVER is an important workshop to instruct regional teachers how to incorporate jaguar conservation ideas into their lesson plans and also teaches local park rangers the importance of jaguar conservation issues in areas where they co-exist with people on both sides of the Andes. Additionally, Wild4Ever funded the production of written jaguar conservation materials and posters to use throughout Ecuador. Participants from Pambilar Wildlife Refuge organized two subsequent workshops training local teachers and high school students. The result of these workshops produced the Ecuador National Jaguar Plan for the conservation of jaguar in Ecuador. The full report can be seen here: Ecuador National Jaguar Plan Ecuador National Jaguar Plan_English
Costa Rica: Wild4Ever continues its jaguar conservation mission as the primary funder for the Costa Rica Jaguar and Forest Monitoring Project. The program run by Northwest Nazarene University works with students and local NGO’s for a combined jaguar survey and local conservation education program. We hope to establish sufficient documentation of jaguar population as well as adequate prey population in the areas surveyed to appeal for land preservation. More information on this ongoing project at top of page.
Wild4Ever, in cooperation with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has begun an exciting conservation initiative that has begun with the conservation of one of the world’s rarest waterfowl, the white wing wood duck. The duck, with less than 1000 left alive, has been found to survive in the forested wetlands of northern Cambodia. Wild4Ever has funded a group that has found White Winged Wood Ducks in the area and even discovered nest sites, something never before reported in Cambodia. Wild4Ever has funded the protection of the nest that was rewarded by the observed hatching of seven ducklings this summer. We will continue to monitor this group to gain valuable information on this rare and elusive species. In addition, Wild4Ever is working with WCS staff to create a conservation cooperative with a local village to protect a potential waterfowl nesting area. We will also work with local people in a conservation education program that will hopefully involve ecotourism to support their efforts. A very exciting project with great early success.
Wild4Ever volunteers recently funded their own trip to Cambodia to further the ongoing Cambodia project. Our ongoing support continues to fund WCS rangers protecting known nesting and feeding sites of white wing wood ducks and greater adjutants. We also continue to fund WCS’s local community nest site protection programs for nesting birds. In addition, Wild4Ever is funding local community conservation education meetings and we are happy to report that our Wild4Ever funded conservation bird blind is completed and operational!! This blind on an important wildlife wetland and is part of a community wildlife protection project and will allow eco-tourists from around the world come to the area to view these endangered species. It will also bring funds to the local village to guide tourists to the blind and to run the nearby WCS eco-conservation camp, serving as further protection to the area. Wild4Ever was proud to be the first “eco-tourists” to try out the conservation camp and bird blind! It was a great experience and the WCS and local cambodian community should be very proud of their efforts….efforts that will serve the conservation of Cambodian wildlife for years to come.
Bornean Sun Bear Conservation
Sun Bears, at only 3.5 ft tall when standing, are the worlds smallest bears. With a continuing 30% decline in population over the last 30 years, sun bears are one of the six bear species threatened with extinction. Major threats to this unique animal are illegal poaching, habitat destruction and maiming for body parts and bile. Currently there are very few conservation efforts ongoing to help this critically endangered species. Wild4Ever is helping to support the start-up of a dedicated Sun Bear conservation facility in Borneo that will address the needs of orphaned animals, support habitat preservation and produce educational projects aimed at alerting the local populations to the critical nature of the Sun Bear’s situation.
Wild4Ever is proud to be a contributing member of the Madagascar Fauna Group. MFG has been working for nearly 20 years with a combination of conservation, field research, education, and training to help protect one of the most diverse and endangered ecosystems in the world. Projects include environmental education programs for school children, village mayors and farmers as well as species diversity mapping, and the development of seed germination techniques for endangered rain forest plants.
South American Waterfowl Conservation
Wild4Ever has supported species surveys, conservation exhibits, educational programs and nest box projects for endangered and threatened waterfowl species in critcal habitats in South America including the Orinoco Goose which is classified as near threatened due to hunting and habitat loss.