Monday, November 14, 2011

Weekend Activities...Bongo on the Move

This past Saturday, November 12, we moved 2.1 bongo (two males, one female) to a partner facility in Martin County.  The photos here document the move and all the excitement that goes with this sort of event.  It takes a great team (thanks to Dr. Mark Davis, his tech Kelly, HC Ranch team, and RSCF staff members), coordination, and LOTS of muscle! 

RSCF bongo are kept in large, open acre pens (5 acres or more).  RSCF director, Dr. Paul Reillo, and Dr. Mark Davis ride out on an ATV to dart the animals with a tranquilizer.  Then, another team goes in on an ATV with a trailor to transport the animals out of the pens and to the transport truck.  There, Dr. Davis takes blood samples, vaccinates and ear tags each bongo, while still asleep on the trailer.  Finally, a reversal drug is administered and the bongo wakes up. 

Thanks to all for the great teamwork.  Our bongo are now at their new home, and will be the nexus for a new breeding group.  We plan to send several more to the facility and will keep you posted with more photos and video.  For more information about RSCF's bongo programs, be sure to visit our website!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Worm Wars!

This is a nice little video shot by RSCF's animal care specialist PJ Deitschel. A group of pygmy marmosets "share" a giant mealworm. Makes you hungry, right??

Monday, May 23, 2011

Parrot Monitoring on Palm Beach 2011

Yesterday RSCF staff members Dr. Paul Reillo, Dr. PJ Deitschel, Danielle Payne and Karen McGovern headed over to Palm Beach to check in on the ferel population of Green Cheek Amazons that live there.  The colony is doing extremely well, and RSCF has been checking in on six active nest cavities this season.  We weighed and examined eight chicks, banding four with colorful identification bands, then returned them safely to their nest cavities.  All the chicks we examined were healthy and robust!  We also filmed inside several nests, using a camera system designed by RSCF that uses a one-inch infa-red camera attached to the end of an extending 50-foot pole.  We got some great footage of adults with eggs and chicks.

It is wonderful to see so many active and healthy nests.  The flock is indeed doing well this year!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Here's a quick slideshow of the latest photos taken of our five 2011 Red Browed Amazon babies.  Less than a month old, already showing feather pins and color!  Quite a lovely bunch...Below the slideshow is a video of the babies enjoying lunch.  Boy, can they eat!!

Monday, April 25, 2011

New Truck for the Bongo Surveillance Program!

This new field vehicle, made possible by a generous contribution to RSCF by Mr. Ken Coe, leveraged by the Rhino Ark Charitable Trust (and with special consideration by CMC Motors in Nairobi), is dedicated to the Bongo Surveillance Programme. It will be used to transport the BSP team into remote, mountainous terrain across the Aberdares, Mt. Kenya, Mau Mt. Eburru and surrounding areas to conduct bongo monitoring and surveillance, collect DNA samples, perform GPS/GIS surveys and maintain a vigilant presence to help protect the last wild mountain bongo populations. The one-owner vehicle is turbo-charged for high-altitude use, and is equipped with all-terrain suspension and tires, intake snorkel, and bull guards to protect the drive-train and occupants. This vehicle replaces the well-worn Toyota Hilux purchased by RSCF six years ago, which ferried RSCF Research Associate into the field during his Ph.D. research on mountain bongo, and subsequently became the BSP's first dedicated field transport.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Endangered Exotics in our Backyard...

Since the 1940s, a ferel population of endangered Green Cheeked Amazon parrots (Amazona vidirigenalis) has nested in Palm Beach County.  RSCF has monitored this group for many years, photographing the flock, filming inside nest cavities and banding babies.  The group has begun nesting again this year, and yesterday RSCF staff visited the flock to assess nests and breeding activity.  Six active nests were discovered so far, and we will continue to monitor the group closely.  Green cheeks are native to Mexico and are considered endangered in their native country. 

Here are a few shots of the colony, which includes individuals of other Amazon species including Double Yellow Head (Amazona ocracephala oratrix), Blue Front (Amazona aestiva), and Orange Wing (Amazona amazonica).

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

RSCF Welcomes Dr. PJ Deitschel to our Team!

RSCF is thrilled to welcome Dr. PJ Deitschel to our staff. Dr. Deitschel will serve as our on staff veterinarian and resident farm manager.

PJ brings to RSCF 27 years of knowledge from working with over 300 species of wild mammals, birds and reptiles. A passion for animal advocacy led her to the field of wildlife rehabilitation where she gained extensive expertise in urban wildlife issues while managing a large rehabilitation center and sanctuary in NY. Recognizing a need for experienced wildlife veterinarians, PJ returned to school in her home state of NM and subsequently obtained her DVM from Colorado State University. She pursued her interest in wildlife medicine as the veterinary advisor for a conservation foundation in South Africa and then as the Clinic Director for CROW (Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife) in Sanibel FL. Most recently PJ served with Wildlife Operations and as a Natural Resources Advisor on the Gulf of Mexico oil spill response team. She shares her home life with a laid-back lop-eared house rabbit named “Yebo”.

Welcome aboard, PJ!!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Mico Video!

Here is a funny little video of Mico discovering a hat in his enclosure...

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Lab on Wheels Sent to Dominica!

Last week, RSCF sent an RV to the Caribbean island of Dominica for use as a mobile parrot lab.  The vehicle will be posted at the Parrot Research Centre in the Botanical Gardens and will be available for the Parrot Research Team.   RSCF will outfit the mobile lab with an incubator, brooder and basic lab equipment so the team can have an isolated, mobile space to work with the island's two endimc parrot species, the Imperial Amazon and the Red-Necked Amazon.   

RSCF would like to thank the Batchelor Foundation and Tropical Shipping for their continued support, we couldn't have done it without you!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wild Things a WILD SUCCESS!

On Sunday, February 13, we held our fifth annual wildlife art show, called Wild Things. The show is hosted by Gisela and Howald Pferdekamper and brings artists together from around the country to show wildlife-inspired art in support of RSCF's conservation programs. This year we had several new artists, including mixed media artist Anthony Burkes and art photographer Melinda Moore. RSCF trustee Dr. Mark Davis screened a portion of his new film, Horns of Hope, about our efforts to save endangered black rhino in Zimbabwe. As you can see from the photos, we had a great time and the art was amazing! We partnered with Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, and the guests loved meeting the non-releasable rehab animals, including an alligator, crested cara cara, corn snake, and skunk!

For more information about the show, contact Karen McGovern.