Wild Skies Raptor Center
A Moral Obligation
Due to our ever expanding urban and agricultural footprint, compounded by energy demands and related infrastructure; raptors and wildlife are under increasing pressure. We humans must do all that we can to help wildlife harmed directly and indirectly by human caused factors.
Historically raptors were persecuted for many years. For example, in the fall, tens of thousands were slaughtered annually at migration “bottlenecks,” along ridgelines utilized by the raptors during migration. One such location would later become the first raptor conservation effort in the world – Hawk Mountain Raptor Preserve, Pennsylvania, founded in 1932. That same location now plays host to thousands of visitors who come to marvel at the spectacle of hawk migration which educates thousands annually through their “hawk watching” programs. However, these often maligned misunderstood birds are still persecuted by many who simply do not understand their critical role in natural ecosystems. To this day, wildlife rehabilitators across the country still report numerous intentional shootings and poisonings despite federal laws protecting them.
In today’s modernized world, unintentional human-caused impacts are also a huge threat. Problems such as electrocution, vehicle collisions, windows, fences, and communication tower strikes, not only persist, but are increasing. Additionally, humans have contaminated and poisoned water and food sources with heavy metals from mining, pesticides, rodenticides and lead from spent ammunition. No doubt, humans have changed landscapes and ecosystems consequently altering habitats for many wildlife species. Currently, there is a huge push for oil, gas, and wind energy industrial development in Montana. Research has shown that wind turbines have impacts on large soaring raptors (and bats), including mortality from collisions. We strive to be prepared to accommodate any increased volume of injured raptors needing assistance from this development.
As the human population on our planet increases so to does our obligation to help preserve and protect this incredible place. We are seeing more and more "man" related injuries of our wonderful and important wildlife. Some of these injuries are hard to avoid like collisions with automobiles, others such as lead poisoning can be avoided without much effort on our part. Wild Skies Raptor Center is not only committed to helping raptors and other birds who are injured, we also focus on educating and enlightening the public!