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Rehabilitation of oiled wildlife relies heavily on volunteer labor. Without the hundreds of volunteers who helped out in our spills, we would not have been able to function. Volunteers do a multitude of vital tasks including washing and feeding birds, preparing food for the animals, building cages, running errands and doing laundry. All these tasks are essential to provide the best possible care for the animals.
The vast majority of volunteers who participate in spill response are untrained community members and students who respond to our call for volunteers put out through the media. Our location on the HSU campus gives us
a great resource of potential student volunteers, and we also get word out across campus.
When you volunteer during a spill, you will fill out some State paperwork, and go through a short safety training. You can fill out paperwork now to get on California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife's volunteer list, you will then be notified in the event of a spill.
The Oiled Wildlife Care Network conducts regular online "webinars" for volunteers. You must have wildife rehabilitation experience to qualify to participate in the webinar program. Participants who take all seven webinars will be issued a certificate. Webinar topics include: OWCN overview and effects of oil on wildlife, recovery and transportation level 1, avian field stabilization, avian processing and intake, avian pre-wash care, avian cleaning and pre-release conditioning, marine mammal processing, intake, stabilization and cleaning. Please note that participation in the webinars does not provide guarantee of inclusion in any particular aspect of spill response.