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Tuesday, May 8, 2018

7 May, 2018 - Saving Birds and Wild Animals - Audubon and WildCare

Imagine waking up and not hearing the birds?  They are such a vital part of nature and our ecosystem and are so often taken for granted, some even now becoming endangered by climate change and human intervention.  Our two guests represent organisations that are doing amazing work with, not only birds, but other wildlife.  Audubon is well known for its brilliant photography of birds, wildlife magazines and educational programs, but they are involved in so much more which we learn about tonight.  And Northern California's WildCare in Marin work tirelessly to treat animals at their hospital, run education programs, conduct advocacy and have a must-see visitors centre.  Tune in and learn more!

Rebecca Schwartz Lesberg
San Francisco Bay Program Director

Richardson Bay Audubon Center & Sanctuary is ground zero for water birds and Pacific herring in San Francisco Bay. Our 900-acre open water sanctuary is closed from October 1st to March 31st each year and is visited by researchers focused on protecting and restoring the eelgrass ecosystem.

Audubon's Birds and Climate Change Report shows that than more than 300 species of birds are at risk from climate change. Audubon chapters, centers, and members are taking action to help these birds and reduce carbon pollution. They're advocating for renewable energy, growing native plants to help birds adapt, tracking how birds are responding to the changing climate, and working with decision-makers to find solutions that benefit birds and people.

About Rebecca Schwartz Lesberg

Rebecca leads Audubon California's San Francisco Bay Program, using science-based conservation to protect one of North America's most important estuary systems. Focusing on the intersection of policy, science, restoration, and management, the San Francisco Bay Program works across disciplines and ecosystems to conserve birds and their habitats. 

Prior to this role, Rebecca led the conservation program at San Diego Audubon, where she worked since 2012 to protect and restore coastal habitats for birds in Southern California. After San Diego Audubon, Rebecca relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area to head Coastal Policy Solutions, where she worked with non-profit partners (including San Diego Audubon and Audubon California) throughout the state to advance on the ground conservation action.

With experience in the private and non-profit sectors, including as a Biologist for AMEC Foster Wheeler and later as Director of Conservation for San Diego Audubon, she understands the varied interests involved in conservation. Rebecca holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Ecology from UC San Diego and conducted graduate work at the University of San Diego studying the historical ecology of sport fishing in San Diego Bay.

Rebecca has been published in the San Diego Union Tribune and featured in the Los Angeles Times, and was awarded a 2014 President's Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama.

About Audubon

Protecting waterbird populations has been part of Audubon’s mission even before the official establishment of the National Audubon Society. Outrage over the slaughter of millions of waterbirds, particularly egrets and other waders, for the millinery trade led to the foundation, by Harriet Hemenway and Mina Hall, of the Massachusetts Audubon Society in 1896. By 1898, state-level Audubon Societies had been established in Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire, Illinois, Maine, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Ohio, Indiana, Tennessee, Minnesota, Texas, and California. In 1900, Audubon member Frank M. Chapman launched the first Christmas Bird Count – Audubon’s all-volunteer holiday census of early-winter bird populations – as an alternative to the traditional Christmas “Side Hunt,” in which hunters competed to kill as many birds (and mammals) as possible.

In 1901, state-level Audubon groups joined together in a loose national organization, which helped to establish the first National Wildlife Refuge in the U.S. – Pelican Island, in Florida, in 1903 – and facilitated the hiring of wardens to protect waterbird breeding areas in several states. In 1905, the National Audubon Society was founded, with the protection of gulls, terns, egrets, herons, and other waterbirds high on its conservation priority list.

In 1918, President Wilson signed the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), which remains to this day one of the strongest laws protecting wild North American birds. Shortly after the passage of the MBTA, Audubon established its first system of waterbird sanctuaries in seven states along the eastern coast of the U.S., and thus initiated the implementation of large-scale, scientifically-based bird conservation efforts.

Web Northern Bobwhite


Alison Hermance,
Director of Communications

 Alison Hermance has been at WildCare for 15 years in various capacities. She has been Director of Communications for eight years, handling all the PR and media for the organization. She also runs the website and produces the newsletter, but she says that one of the best parts of her job is doing outreach and presentations about WildCare and the wonderful animals in their care. In a volunteer capacity, she is on the Squirrel Foster Care Team and is part of the Raptor Reunite Team (yes, these are "things" at WildCare :)). In her spare time she enjoy travels, kayaking and off-road motorcycling. 

About WildCare

WildCare’s mission is to advocate for wildlife for a sustainable world, and they actively pursue this mission through nature education, wildlife medicine, advocacy and community outreach.  Through partnerships with schools, collaborations with other organizations, educational programs and activities, internships and volunteer opportunities they strive to make a positive difference in their community.

Today WildCare is a leader in wildlife rehabilitation and nature education. Their Terwilliger nature education programs reach more than 40,000 Bay Area children and adults every year, and the wildlife hospital treats nearly 4,000 ill, injured and orphaned wild patients each year. WildCare’s Living with Wildlife hotline answers thousands of calls to help people through wildlife emergencies, and their WildCare Solutions service brings expertise to homeowners’ properties to help control and eliminate nuisance animal problems throughout the Bay Area.

Everyone wants to do the right thing for wildlife… WildCare is here to help!

As human habitation continues to expand into the wild places that surround us, people and wildlife increasingly find themselves calling the same places home.  WildCare work to make sure all species can coexist— not just by treating sick or injured animals (nearly 4,000 of them a year), but also by teaching children and adults to understand and appreciate wildlife, by sharing knowledge and instructions on how to live peacefully with the animals among us and by advocating for better protection of wildlife and our remaining open spaces.

Helping You Live Well with Wildlife

In addition to operating our Wildlife Hospital, Wildcare also provide numerous other resources to the local and larger community:

The Living with Wildlife Hotline is available any time of day or night to help anyone deal safely with the wildlife they encounter.

They have also been a leader in developing new and innovative ways to address problem wildlife issues humanely with the WildCare Solutions service.

Nature Education programs reach young and old through a powerful combination of on-site, in-classroom, and in-the-wilderness programs.

And Volunteer Programs allow people a hands-on way to make a real difference to wildlife and to the environment.

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