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Wildlife Release
Click image to run slideshow depicting habitat aspects of Valley Forge Native Wildlife Refuge.
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Release techniques: hard versus soft ...
How you can help ...
What is habitat? ...
he final step in the process of wildlife rehabilitation is to release the animal into the wild, but that seemingly simple act requires that many varied factors are first fully considered & understood; these include the species, age & sex of the animal, its physical and psychological readiness, and the chosen method, time of day, time of year, and weather conditions for release. However, none of these factors are singularly more important than the habitat of the release site, since the survival and possible reproductive ability of any wild animal is inextricably linked to the quality of the environment into which it is introduced. Although a general maxim of ‘release it where you found it’ can indeed hold true in some instances for some individuals of some species, that’s unfortunately not always the correct course of action; the animal may have been rescued and required veterinary treatment & subsequent care as a direct result of it having been in an environment quite unsuited to its survival, so returning it to the same location might do it no lasting favours, should those same conditions persist. Similarly, due to habitat changes (either seasonal or man-induced), occupancy of seasonal territories, or the migratory behaviour of certain species, a bird or mammal may no longer belong where it was originally found, by the time it becomes ready for release. An animal should only be released where it belongs, where it will be tolerated by others of the same species, by compatible or kindred species, and where it is least likely to come to direct or indirect harm from humans. The varied wildlife habitats and the occupying species of the lands comprising & surrounding Valley Forge NWR are well known to us ... consequently, we only consider for release at this site, those species that belong here, or those can be safely introduced here, without resultant harm to themselves or to the ecosystem.