Raptor Rehab Group Hopes to Help 150+ Birds By 2017
It’s something to tweet about. An Iowa City non-profit dedicated to rehabilitating injured or sick raptors has had a busy first month.
The RARE (Raptor Advocacy Rehabilitation and Education) Group, formed in late November. Executive Director Luke Hart said in RARE’s first full month, volunteers have helped 20 birds, most of them raptors.
“We’ve been incredibly busy,” said Hart. “Most of these birds are raptors, but we will never deny assistance to other bird species that need help.”
Hart said if demand keeps up, in a year’s time RARE will likely help 150 to 180 birds at its donated space inside Iowa City’s Gentle Heart Pet Clinic.
Most of the animals that can saved will be released into the wild. Others will be sent to nature centers for education.
Hart said RARE was formed to fill a void after the Macbride Raptor Project ended its bird rehab program in August.
“A group of devoted rehabilitators, educators, and researchers joined together to fill that void and created The RARE Group,” Hart said. “We’re a community supported organization that serves, not only to rehabilitate injure raptors, but to also educate and advocate about and for the needed increase in environmental stewardship.”
According to the group’s webpage, RARE focuses on raptors because they can often be overlooked when it comes to support programs.
“Because of their size, broad territorial domains, strength and skill, and fierceness as hunters, raptors may seem to be almost invincible and not in need of help or protection from humans,” according to the webpage. “But raptors, like all wildlife, are continually challenged for survival, perhaps more so today than ever before.”
Those who finds a raptor that needs help can call RARE’s hotline: 319-248-9770. Donation and volunteer information can be found at: http://www.theraregroup.org.