A Convocation of Eagles

A Convocation of Eagles

A Convocation of Eagles

What do the dates; August 7th, September 21st, and October 20th have in common?  Well, each of these days the Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre received a new patient, with each those being an eagle. It started with the Golden Eagles arrival from Watson Lake, followed by a Bald Eagle from Jake’s Corner, and another Bald Eagle from Mayo.  While an arrival of an animal, into the centre for care by the team at the Preserve, isn’t distinctive; it is unusual to receive an influx of eagles in the fall.

Seen from left to right is the Golden Eagle, the younger Bald Eagle with scapular injury from Jake’s Corner, and the older Bald Eagle with carpal infection from Mayo.

Over the years, the Rehabilitation Centre has admitted many eagles – both golden and bald. Some of these occasions have occurred to eaglets, some adults. Some of these have been due to injury to the individual – like from a nest blowing over in strong winds (they’re nests are built over years and with time can weigh hundreds of pounds, which for our small northern trees can sometimes be just too much to support).1https://www.nationaleaglecenter.org/eagle-nesting-young/ Often times, we do not know the circumstances around an animals ailment but can gain insight from x-rays as to why an animal might be behaving differently than we might expect – like the successful juvenile bald eagle rehabilitation from summer 2020. A common thread for many of these eagles is admittance timing – usually in the Spring and Summer. 
Several months have passed since the three birds Fall time admittance. This time has allowed each eagle recovery, to some degree but there’s much road ahead still for them each. We’ll start first with the younger, (white with brown head) Bald Eagle from Jake’s Corner.  A fracture to the scapular caused the animal to be flightless in the wild. The injury has healed. The wing was wrapped for 2 months to immobilize the wing but this does cause muscle atrophy – just like in humans who are casted following a bone break. The eagle was contained in a small aviary to help reduce its movements to maintain fracture alignment and eventual bone fusion.
Once this stage of recovery was met, the eagle was moved into the large aviary. This is an important phase of the recovery process for the bird –  movement and flight tests. This individual can fly, and will spend the rest of the winter building up flight muscles in the aviary to support its probable return to the wild in the spring!
The older (full white head) Bald Eagle who suffered from severe chronic infection of the right carpal joint was initially treated with a small hope that even though the integrity of the joint was compromised the eagle might still be able to fly well enough and survive in the wild after the infection was controlled and the wing healed. However, based on most current radiographic imaging and physical exam, done by Dr. Maria Hallock and the Animal Care team, the prognosis is poor. While the infection is cleared and the joint has healed, its integrity is compromised – this will prevent the eagle from being able to fly uninhibited. Observations of the animal in the large aviary has seen it able to gain lift up to 6 feet and fly off the perch within the aviary but unable to maintain latitude for more than 20 feet. 
The Preserve will continue to care for this individaul through the remainder of the winter. We will continue to monitor and observe its behaviour.
Finally, the Golden Eagle has had the longest and most challenging recovery of the three. While we are happy to report that the left foot has recovered from the infection due to porcupine quills; the right foot is severely compromised due to the infection. This has resulted in multiple bone dissolution and loss of the skeletal and ligamentous integrity of the foot and consequently loss of its function. The bird can perch but cannot grasp effectively with the right foot. The bird still has a long way to its full recovery. At this time it does not look probable for the bird to be released back into the wild sucessfully due to this loss of functionality in the foot – an important tool for a bird of bird such as this to capture its food to survive.
The x-ray image of the Golden Eagle’s feet shows significantly compromised structure between the right and the left. The left foot was imaged with the banadaging on his feet still. The Golden Eagle is observed to be perching, and with the other birds, more and more. This is a postive progression from when he was often observed resting on stomache and on the ground, rathern than higher perch.
Each of these birds are on their own path to recovery. The Preserve continues to provide care through, mostly now, feeding and observation. These birds eat a lot! If you are able to support the ongoing care of these animals please consider donating to the Wildlife Rehabiliation and Resaearch Centre Fund.

While we progress through winter and meet spring the Preserve’s Animal Care team will reevaluate each individual and their release back to the wild or the alternative. The alternatives could include remaining at the Yukon Wildlife Preserve to live out their life and offer education and an opportunity to personally connect with such a magnificent creature. This will be a significant investment, up to a 25 year commitment, given the birds average lifespan and food requirements, however that the Preserve may not be able to provide this given the expenses. Another alternative may be to place them in another animal care facility or CAZA accredited institution.  Time will tell, to be continued . . .

Photo credits:  L. Caskenette
Lindsay Caskenette

Lindsay Caskenette

Manager of Visitor Services

Lindsay joined the Wildlife Preserve team March 2014. Originally from Ontario, she came to the Yukon in search of new adventures and new career challenges. Lindsay holds a degree in Environmental Studies with honours from Wilfrid Laurier University and brings with her a strong passion to share what nature, animals and the environment can teach us.

867-456-7400
lindsay@yukonwildlife.ca

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Carrots for the Critters

Carrots for the Critters

Carrots for the Critters

This story was originally published December 12, 2020 in the e-blast newsletter to Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s membership.

Are you a member but don’t receive these email Newsletters?  Contact us at info@yukonwildlife.ca to update your email preferences.

Banner photo credit L. Caskenette

This territory is full of incredible people of the north and without a doubt Steve and Bonnie Mackenzie-Grieve are among them!

Steve and Bonnie own and operate the Yukon Grain Farm, not far from the Preserve. They are pillars of the community and work hard to produce and provide local – they also immensely support local.

Every year, the Yukon Grain Farm donates a giant bag of, often brightly coloured but not considered beautiful, vegetables to the Preserve and its critters. This year, 1000lbs or so of carrots came in. While they are bright orange, grown right on the banks of the beautiful Yukon River, the carrots themselves are not deemed beautiful by the human eye. Instead of wasting this bounty the animals will gladly enjoy them, ground into their regular diet, as enrichment over the months to come!

Thank you Yukon Grain Farm for your ongoing support to the north!

Lindsay Caskenette

Lindsay Caskenette

Manager of Visitor Services

Lindsay joined the Wildlife Preserve team March 2014. Originally from Ontario, she came to the Yukon in search of new adventures and new career challenges. Lindsay holds a degree in Environmental Studies with honours from Wilfrid Laurier University and brings with her a strong passion to share what nature, animals and the environment can teach us.

867-456-7400
lindsay@yukonwildlife.ca

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A-Moosing Move

A-Moosing Move

A-Moosing Move

This story was originally published October 24, 2020 in the e-blast newsletter to Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s membership.

Are you a member but don’t receive these email Newsletters?  Contact us at info@yukonwildlife.ca to update your email preferences.

Banner photo credit:  J. Paleczny

Early on Thursday morning (October 22), during those chilly hours before we are open to the public, the Animal Care team successfully moved the little male moose calf; walking from his temporary off-display habitat to the public viewing area near our other 4 moose.

Now you might be wondering how that happens, and safely. The wide roadways, snaking in a figure-8 through the Preserve are not only a means for you to explore the Preserve and its wildlife residents, they’re also the way in which we, using a series of gates and the fencing for each habitat, guide animals from one area to another.

This little male moose will spend time alone in this intermediate habitat (in between the 2 other males in the marsh habitat and the 2 females in the adjacent habitat) before being introduced in with the females.

He’s quite skittish, very cautious of new surroundings and people. While he remains in this secondary, temporary home a stand-off barrier is in place to ensure he feels he has enough space to be comfortable and explore his surroundings while reducing stress as he gets to know you, our visitors.

A trip down Memory Lane:  remember when this moose orphaned in July moved to his temporary off-display habitat?  And here’s the early October pre-A-Moosing Move update thanks to CBC Yukon!

Lindsay Caskenette

Lindsay Caskenette

Manager of Visitor Services

Lindsay joined the Wildlife Preserve team March 2014. Originally from Ontario, she came to the Yukon in search of new adventures and new career challenges. Lindsay holds a degree in Environmental Studies with honours from Wilfrid Laurier University and brings with her a strong passion to share what nature, animals and the environment can teach us.

867-456-7400
lindsay@yukonwildlife.ca

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Bald Eagle:  Right Carpal Infection

Bald Eagle: Right Carpal Infection

Bald Eagle: Right Carpal Infection

This story was originally published October 24, 2020 in the e-blast newsletter to Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s membership.

Are you a member but don’t receive these email Newsletters?  Contact us at info@yukonwildlife.ca to update your email preferences.

Banner Photo:  Dr. Maria Hallock and the Animal Care team weigh the bald eagle upon it’s arrival to Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s Rehabilitation Centre.  Credit:  L. Caskenette
On Tuesday October 20 a bald eagle arrived at our Rehabilitation Centre from Mayo via CO services. It’s common that we do not know the circumstances surrounding an animal’s injury, as is the case with this bald eagle. In cases like this, CO services are the link between animals in the wild, human concerns for their health and welfare, and Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s Rehabilitation Centre. CO Services and YG’s Animal Health Unit will respond and evaluate an appropriate course of action (which may include bringing it to YWP). While the YWP can accept injured wildlife, we do not have a field response team to conduct rescues.
The good news is that while this bald eagle is underweight at 2.6 kg he has a good appetite, is alert and fairly strong. X-rays performed at Yukon Wildlife Preserve show no fractures. The challenge faced by this bald eagle while in our Rehabilitation Centre will be in overcoming and healing an infection in his right carpal joint (that’s a bird’s wrist!), and some other abscesses that have been drained by Dr. Hallock. The eagle will be on antibiotics, and will remain inside to give the team the ability to monitor him closely. Follow up x-rays will be taken in a week to assess how the eagle is progressing and his health plan will be tailored based on the findings. It’s early days on the road to this eagle’s hopeful recovery. The Preserve now has 3 eagles within the Rehabilitation Centre (1 Golden Eagle and 2 Bald Eagles). While this can be abnormal for this time of year, we do know that animals encounter illness and injury year-round. To help keep Yukon Wild at Heart, consider a donation. If you encounter an animal that you feel needs help, be informed. A good first step is to check our website for Wildlife Emergency protocols and contacts.

The following update was originally published January 23, 2021 in the e-blast newsletter to Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s membership.

A Convocation of Eagles

Lindsay Caskenette & Julie Kerr

Lindsay Caskenette & Julie Kerr

Visitor Services Manager and Visitor Services Coordinator

Lindsay and Julie love to share the Preserve the same way they explore life – full on and full of adventure!  They have a collective love of:  Animals....Lindsay dogs, Julie foxes; Adventure.... Lindsay dog mushing, Julie extreme camping;  both take on animal personas during story telling.  Together they support the Preserve with a strong Visitor Services presence and often, they even get work done (this happens most often when the other one is out of the office).

 867-456-7400
 info@yukonwildlife.ca

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Golden Eagle:  Scapular Fracture

Golden Eagle: Scapular Fracture

Golden Eagle: Scapular Fracture

This story was originally published August 8, 2020 in the e-blast newsletter to Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s membership.

Are you a member but don’t receive these email Newsletters?  Contact us at info@yukonwildlife.ca to update your email preferences.

Banner photo credit:  L. Caskenette

The golden eagle is a young one – it arrived on August 7th. Conservation Officers brought the eagle from Watson Lake to the Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

Upon arrival the eagle weighed 2.3kg. It had a fracture to scapular (not much we can do just needs time to heal). With some rest time and observation the eagle was then moved to the large flight pen on August 11th. He weighed 2.6kg at that time. A healthy individual should weigh in around 4-5.5kg, while females are slightly larger and heavier.

This individual needs to gain some more weight to get stronger before it will attempt any flying. On Thursday, our Veterinarian, Dr. Maria Hallock weighed the eagle in at 3.25kg. Gaining 600g in the last two week is a positive sign of recovery. The eagle has been eating well – anywhere from 3-6 quail/day (each one weighing 200-250g). We will continue to monitor his weight and movement/behaviour. We expect to see him recover, fly and build up muscles to return to the wild, timing remains up to him!

The following update was originally published October 10, 2020 in the e-blast newsletter to Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s membership.

 What’s Up Yukon connected with us to get the latest story on the Golden Eagle that is in care at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre at the Preserve.  This eagle can be found working on his flight and recovering in the large outdoor aviary, as he overwinters with us at the Preserve!

The following update was originally published January 23, 2021 in the e-blast newsletter to Yukon Wildlife Preserve’s membership.

A Convocation of Eagles

Lindsay Caskenette

Lindsay Caskenette

Manager of Visitor Services

Lindsay joined the Wildlife Preserve team March 2014. Originally from Ontario, she came to the Yukon in search of new adventures and new career challenges. Lindsay holds a degree in Environmental Studies with honours from Wilfrid Laurier University and brings with her a strong passion to share what nature, animals and the environment can teach us.

867-456-7400
lindsay@yukonwildlife.ca

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Phase 2 – Increasing Services

Phase 2 – Increasing Services

Phase 2 – Increasing Services

The Yukon Wildlife Preserve reopened to the public June 1st, 2020 with Phase 1. The Preserve closed March 23rd, 2020 for the safety and well-being of our animals, staff and visitors.

The Preserve is open daily from 10:30am to 5:30pm with modified services and will enter Phase 2 July 1st, 2020.

As a large and mostly outdoor facility, the Preserve is a place of solitude and reprieve, as well as a popular social destination. The Preserve is taking a phased approach to opening and will continue to evaluate and adapt to ensure the risks are managed appropriately. 

While onsite, we ask that visitors adhere to the guidelines at yukon.ca/covid-19 including:

  • Limiting group sizes to your 2-household bubble
  • Physical distancing of at least 2m from other visitors / households

We ask that visitors stay home if they are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, have traveled outside the Yukon and the 3 approved jurisdictions (B.C., Nunavut, NWT) in the last 14 days, or have been in contact with anyone sick with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

What to expect while visiting during COVID-19

In this Phase 2:

  • General Admission (walk, bike, etc) 
    • last suggested entry 4:30pm 
  • Scheduled Guided Bus Tours
    • Regularly scheduled bus tours (1.5 hour tours) available at 11am and 2pm
    • 8 seat capacity per tour
  • Tickets and memberships available:
  • Tickets, gift shop sales and pre-purchased ticket check-in will be via window-service only.
    • The Reception Cabin / Gift Shop remains closed for now. 
    • Gift Shop items from the are available to purchase. Condsider our special and local items to further support the Preserve and other local businesses.
    • We ask that groups send a single representative up to the cabin window to minimize crowding.
  • For accessibility accommodations, please contact ahead of time for accomodations, including:
    • Use of the Preserve’s low-floor bus.
    • Borrowing the freewheel wheelchair accessibility attachment for rough terrain.
  • As a rustic, outdoor facility, there opportunities for enhanced cleaning are inherently limited. 
    • All outhouses will be open. They will be cleaned once a day and hand sanitizer will be stocked at each outhouse.
    • Rough, porous wood surfaces including picnic tables, benches and viewing platform rails will not be cleaned/sanitized.
    • Hand-washing stations are not available at this time; however, hand sanitizer will be stocked at all outhouses and the Reception Cabin.
    • Cleaning and disinfecting of the bus will be completed between tours.
  • Signage to encourage physical distancing in place at busier locations / popular viewing spots.
  • Enhanced staff safety measures:
    • Staff are following all recommended guidelines, including:
      • Staying at home if sick
      • Physical distancing guidelines
      • Workplace cleaning/sanitation guidelines
  • Animal Care staff minimizing on-site work during open hours.
    • Split shift staffing groups

Thank you for your support in implementing these guidelines! Your cooperation will ensure a successful reopening! 

We still need your support!

Our commitment to wildlife—and to you, our community—are at the heart of everything we do. Re-opening will allow us to continue our mission to connect our visitors to the natural world. It will also help mitigate the financial impacts on the long-term sustainability of the Preserve. That said, the ongoing, daily costs of caring for 200+ animal doesn’t change; so we’re not out of the woods yet. We still need your support.

Ways to Support

• • •

Leverage extra resources, services or expertice and make an in-kind contribution to the Preserve’s day-to-day operations.

Make a one-time or monthly tax-receiptable donation to education, wildlife rehabilitation, or general operations.

Turn your businesses cash or in-kind support for the Preserve into PR for your business and perks for your team.

We are forever grateful for your continued support. Together, we will overcome the challenges ahead. Our commitment to wildlife—and to you, our community—are at the heart of everything we do.

 

More on how the Preserve is Responding to COVID-19

1. Ensuring Continuity of Care

We have more than 200 animals that depend on us. As a result, we have a heightened responsibility to protect the well-being of the staff they depend on. 

The daily feeding and care of 200+ animals is no small task. We have a small but dedicated team who makes this all happen. Ensuring continuity of care is about protecting our team and developing contingency plans.

To protect our staff we are going above and beyond the recommendations on cleaning and physical distancing. This includes:

  • Compartmentalizing our primary animal care staff to minimize onsite contact and work-site overlaps;
  • Developing and continually enhancing work-site cleaning protocols;
  • Developing protocols for working with felids (due to known cases of human-felid transmission of COVID-19);
  • Developing protocols for interfacing with public when required for accepting wildlife in need of medical care and rehabilitation.

We have also put a number of contingency plans in place, including:

  • Cross-training other staff to create a secondary animal care team;
  • Developing emergency care protocols and emergency contacts for the secondary team;
  • Developing a list of trained heavy equipment operators who can move hay and pellets;
  • Close monitoring of medical and food supply chains as well as careful inventory management of key supplies and food;
  • Diligent financial planning to ensure quality of care is not compromised.
2. Staying Connected

Our team has been hard at work to bring you stories, videos and regular updates during our temporary closure. As we transition to being open again, we’ll continue to bring you stories and videos as we are able

You can support the Preserve by engaging with and re-sharing this content. Reaching a broader audience has a direct impact on the number of donations we receive – and will help us rebound when tourism gradually resumes!

Our animals need daily food and care. Those donations are still critical for off-setting the loss of visitor revenue.

3. Reduction of Services

The pandemic has forced a reduction of services across our organization. Wherever possible we are redeploying our team to continue on our mission. However, in many cases we have also had the difficult necessity of reducing our team.

With a phased re-opening, we’ll be slowly returning to our original levels of services – as is feasible.

Our educational programming has also been impacted. The suspension of schools has also meant that:

  • YWP staff did not deliver school programs at Swan Haven in April;
  • YWP staff will not deliver school programs to Yukon students at the Preserve in May and June.

We are working closely with our funding partners for these programs to redeploy these resources (as feasible) to achieve our program goals in other ways.

    4. Planning for an Uncertain Future

    It’s hard to say when we will reopen. We are now expecting to be closed through May. But we will continue to adapt as the situation evolves.

    We are now expecting to see a 55%+ decrease in expected visitation for the 2020-21 fiscal year. However, we are also planning for scenarios where we see an 80%+ decrease. This is due to two key factors:

    1. 65% of our visitation happens in the first 6 months of the year – and the first half of the year will be most impacted.
    2. Approximately 60% of our visitors are tourists (non-Yukoners). We are currently expecting severely depressed tourism to continue for 6-12 months before slowly returning towards normalcy.

    Revenue from visitation and educational programs accounts for more than $500,000 annually. As a result, we are expecting shortfalls of $200-400k.

    We are staying abreast of and participating, where we are eligible, in Territorial and Federal financial supports.

    In the meantime, your support is a critical part of ensuring the Preserve’s continued operation.

    Ways to Stay Connected

    • • •



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    Jake Paleczny

    Jake Paleczny

    Executive Director

    Jake Paleczny is passionate about interpretation and education. He gained his interpretative expertise from a decade of work in Ontario’s provincial parks in addition to a Masters in Museum Studies from the University of Toronto. His interests also extend into the artistic realm, with a Bachelor of Music from the University of Western Ontario and extensive experience in galleries and museums.

    867-456-7313
    jake@yukonwildlife.ca

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