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OWRA&ODFW MTG on 1/9/2024

The followings were discussed with Dr. Colin Gillin and Mr. Rick Boatner from ODFW.


I. Species-Specific Rehabilitation Considerations


○     Ok to accept euthanasia

■     However, there could be exceptions: e.g., the patient is accepted for euthanasia but it is just in torpor: Request permission for rehabilitation for each individual patient that does not require euthanasia.

Water Birds

○     OK to accept orphaned waterfowl/water birds/shorebirds/seabirds for rehabilitation

■     Report to district biologist when admitted

■     Must be released back to origin found

○     Moratorium still stands for adults’ species.

○     May put moratoriums on species seasonally (possibly migratory season) in the future.


○     OK to accept native species west of the cascades.

○     Moratorium still stands for rehabilitation facilities east of the cascades


○     Protocols for fawn admissions and fostering

■     If rehab facilities keep track of locations does/fawns are seen, it is very helpful. Please share the information with your district biologist.

■     District staff should have areas that have doe-fawn groups. Confer with district biologist before taking fawns / before fawn season.

■     Mid May to first week of June: Only time this is a viable option for fostering

■     If they are already habituated and bigger, he recommends euthanasia. The yearling does won’t accept them and will beat them up.

■     Unable to place in captivity and can’t ship out of state: Captive deer need a special permit, and ODFW don’t provide any for deer for CWD in Oregon. (They just provide for elk.) Likely CWD is here, we just haven’t found it here. Deer catch CWD easier than elk do.

○     Rehabilitation facilities are not allowed to rehabilitate fawns for releasing due to disease and habituation concerns.

○     Habituated deer put humans at risk. It happens even in rural areas, not only in town deer.

○     Ok to euthanize adult deer in the field. “Good Samaritan Rule”: General public allowed to euthanize suffering deer, but need to notify OSP by law afterwards. (And ODFW is good too but legally it’s OSP) Also, put in bi-annual report.


○     Elk calves: contact ODFW for potential placement (Oregon Zoo or Wildlife Safari)


II. Wildlife Rehabilitation Across State Borders

●     No to move animals (including migratory birds) across the state lines, due to biosecurity and population regulation. ODFW used to move animals a lot - elk, deer, birds, etc, but biologists move animals very little now, which is for management purposes.

●     ODFW used to send bear cubs to PAWS and get them sent back for release. PAWS are good at rehabbing cubs but they’d still get habituated bears back. - they’d chase the releasing biologist down the highway from the covered trap.

●     Bear cubs and cougar kittens are easy to get habituated. ODFW frequently rehomes them with AZA zoos.

●     Migratory birds are also not allowed to be moved across the state due to HPAI. Animals found in the state have to be dealt with in that state.

III. ODFW Rehabilitation Policy Update

  • Expectations and Timeline for Formal Policy Updates

  • ODFW will release before spring migration

V. Next Steps

Questions from OWRA member (Admission Policy Clarifications)

  • Adult sea and water-associated birds 

  • Adult inland shorebirds East of the Cascades 

Next meeting: February 13th, 2024, 10A

Do you have specific rules or things you’d like clarified? Please send your suggestions or questions to!


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