Recent News From the Field

Please Note:

Links shown below should be viable for approximately 30 days past the NWRA posting date. After this time sources may have removed the web page or may have archived the information to another web address.

July 2015

Migratory Bird Treaty Act Protection in Grave Danger

From the American Bird Conservancy (ABC): “The Senate soon may consider a rider in the Fiscal Year 2016 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CJS) appropriations bill to bar the Department of Justice from enforcing the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), which protects over 1,000 species of migratory birds and makes it illegal to harm them except under very specific circumstances. 

We [ABC] also have learned that Representative Jeff Duncan (Republican from South Carolina) is not done attacking bird conservation. He’s now trying to add an amendment to the House Interior Appropriations bill, HR 2822, to prevent the enforcement of laws protecting both migratory birds, and Bald and Golden Eagles as well.”

Additional information and input options:


Pain Medication Toxic to Felid Species

Pain medication containing non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs has been noted in the past as harmful, even deadly, to domestic feline species. NASID drugs include ibuprofen, naproxen, and others. Three domestic cat necropsies on animals who died unexpectedly indicated toxicity to the cats from owner’s use of these same drugs in a topical cream solution. The cats came into direct contact with the human topical application, which caused damage to the cats’ intestines and kidneys, indicative of the toxic effects. NSAID drugs, such as flurbiprofen, can be in ophthalmic drops, and other medications, used in wildlife. Rehabilitators should exercise extra caution with felid species and avoid drugs containing any NSAID.

June 2015

White-nose Syndrome Treatment News

While only a small sampling of bats and finding an ideal manner of treatment for huge numbers of bats, several bats were released in Missouri 19 May 2015 after successful treatment and destruction of the white-nose fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans. Researchers were investigating the common bacterium Rhodococccus rhodochrous found in North American soil, for industrial uses, when Chris Cornelison from Georgia State University found its potential to save bats. R. rhodochrous produces volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that stop P. destructans from growing without coming into direct contact with the bats. When the bacteria is placed in the nearby environment of infected bats (such as bats in a mesh cage inside an aquarium), but not touching them, the VOCs destroy the WNS fungus.


May 2015


Avian Influenza

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) continues to spread in domestic poultry [and a few wild birds tested] in states previously reported (IA, MN, WI). On 28 April, Kentucky health officials confirmed HPAI in two wild birds in McCracken County. Brief details:

Additionally, British Columbia, Canada reported the first incidence of HPAI H5N8 in a wild bird tested as part of the Canadian on-going enhanced surveillance. The dead American widgeon (Anas americana) was collected from a wild bird sanctuary in the province. Report details:

For the first time in Wisconsin, a wild bird (snowy owl, Bubo scandiacus) found dead in the northeastern part of the state tested positive for HPAI H5N2. This is of note as HPAI in domestic poultry was confirmed in Wisconsin in late April, but has not been found in wild birds until now.

Of the three strains of avian influenza reported and confirmed in North America to date (11 May), H5N2, H5N8, and H5N1—H5N2 has been the most prevalent, affecting Arkansas, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington, British Columbia, and Ontario—leading to the deaths or culling of an estimated 30 million birds.


Data Request for Texas Rehabilitators

Robert C. Dowler, PhD, of Angelo State University (San Angelo, TX) and his graduate students are conducting a research project to assess the geographic distribution and genetic health of eastern spotted skunks (Spilogale putorius) in Texas. Bonnie Gulas-Wroblewski is assisting Dr. Dowler by being the initial recipient of data and being available to answer any questions or concerns you may have.

Information being requested is the same as that required to be reported under your Texas rehabilitation permit, and as such, is already considered public information. Personal or facility information and/or location will remain confidential. Texas rehabilitators can assist in this research by providing the following information.

  1. If an eastern spotted skunk is currently in care, please call for specific information related to that animal (such as plucking and sending a few hairs from the tail). If this species is admitted in the future, you also are asked to call for details.
  2. When an eastern spotted skunk is admitted and must be euthanized or dies, please freeze the body and call to arrange carcass transportation.
  3. If an eastern spotted skunk admitted requires veterinary care and treatment, other samples, such as a small ear notch or blood sample, would be useful as well. Please call, or have the veterinarian call, for specifics to facilitate this. Costs of shipping samples can be arranged through Angelo State University and, if needed, sampling vials can be sent for specimen collection.
  4. Copies of your records on admission and care of eastern spotted skunks in the past. This includes TX required information on species and date of admission, received from whom (and permit number if another rehabilitator) and location found if noted, nature of injury, final disposition and date, and release location or to whom transferred (and permit number if applicable).
  5. Any additional information beyond that noted in #4 above that you have recorded would be most helpful as well. 

Data may be emailed to: or record copies snail mailed to:
Dove Key Ranch Wildlife Rehabilitation, PO Box 1292, Columbus TX 78934
Call or text Bonnie for any questions or as requested at: 713-548-4718.