Appalachian Wildlife Refuge was formed by a group of licensed rehabilitators, nonprofit professionals, environmental educators, veterinarians, and other concerned citizens, in response to the increasing numbers of wildlife in need of assistance and the lack of people trained and funded to help them in Western North Carolina (WNC).
Each year wildlife rehabilitators, vet offices, wildlife centers, zoos and other like places see an increase in the number of injured and orphaned wildlife that are coming to them for help. As the population in and around WNC grows and more people move to be closer to wildlife and nature, we will see a steady increase of the encounters between people and wildlife.
In 2014, the WNC Nature Center accepted over 1,100 animals, a number that has doubled since 2011, and they are constantly receiving calls and inquiries relating to injured wildlife. The Nature Center’s mission does not include rehabilitation nor does it have staff, time or funding to care for injured wildlife for any length of time. Therefore, they are only able to triage and stabilize animals before passing them on to the overburdened rehabilitation community. The Nature Center would like another local organization to take over in filling this need in our community.
Appalachian Wildlife Refuge is being created to meet this need and will focus on expertise in providing rehabilitation for small mammals, reptiles and amphibians. The organization will provide triage for wildlife like raptors, waterfowl and songbirds that can be transported to specialized facilities where they will get expert care. Acting as a networking hub, the organization will connect and provide resources to the rehabilitation community in Western North Carolina.
The state of North Carolina has many elaborate, well specialized rehabilitation facilities across the middle to far eastern part of the state. Appalachian Wild, will work in conjunction with these facilities to add the missing niche in the mountains. By providing temporary captive care, these animals who otherwise would succumb to some problem that is usually human-caused, will have second chance at survival in the wild.
Wildlife rehabilitation is providing professional care to sick, injured, and orphaned wild animals with the ultimate goal to return them to their natural habitats. Patients are only held in captivity until they are able to live independently in the wild. Wildlife rehabilitation is an elaborate, specialized and time-consuming process.
Please help us take care of wildlife in need in the Southern Appalachian mountains!