Our Backyard Friends
By Assemblymember Marie Waldron
California is a great state with a rich diversity of native wildlife. In the mid-1980’s, I took Project Wildlife training as a native songbird rehabilitator, and have rescued many orphaned baby birds or injured adults through the decades.
This session my AB 1031, signed into law, creates the Native California Wildlife Rehabilitation Fund setting up voluntary tax return checkoffs providing resources to non-profits who rehab injured, orphaned or sick native wildlife.
So who do you call if you find or notice an injured or sick wild animal? Depending on the situation, its best to not touch them until given instruction. In the case of baby birds, parents are most likely watching or an animal might be highly stressed or disease-ridden.
A list of wildlife rehabilitation organizations is here: https://www.wildlife.ca.gov/Conservation/Laboratories/Wildlife-Investigations/Rehab/Facilities
As one of the most biologically diverse areas in the country, we are fortunate to have a number of wildlife rehabilitation organizations. In North San Diego, the Escondido campus of the SD Humane Society, recently merged with Project Wildlife and the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), cares for pets and injured or sick wildlife.
In Ramona, The Fund for Animals Wildlife Center focuses on the rehabilitation of predators, including bobcats, coyotes and hawks.
The Center rehabilitates over 500 animals each year, releasing them back to the wild when possible. Sunshine Haven in Riverside also rescues wildlife, including native reptiles.
These outstanding local organizations are mainly staffed by volunteers dedicated to nurturing native wildlife in this region. They add an appreciation for our distinct wildlife and help them to survive. If you have time, you may consider volunteering and getting to know more about your backyard friends!
Minority Floor Leader Marie Waldron, R-Escondido, represents the 75th Assembly District in the California Legislature, which includes the communities of Bonsall, Escondido, Fallbrook, Hidden Meadows, Pala, Palomar Mountain, Pauma Valley, Rainbow, San Marcos, Temecula, Valley Center and Vista.