When to Call Us
Summer is here and there are loads of calls for baby animals in people's yards. Most do not need to be rescued. A good rule is just observe them for 24 hours before calling a wildlife rehabilitator. Mothers often leave their young alone as they go off looking for food.
Rabbits will cover their young with grass in a depression in the lawn and only return early morning or evening so as not to lead predators back to the nest.
Fawns are left alone for hours as mom is browsing on vegetation. Often people just see the fawns head above the low vegetation as it tries to remain still until mom returns.
Fox kits tend to come out and play in the sun while mom is hunting.
All these young animals have not learned to fear people yet. Do not approach them. We want them to learn to avoid people.
If you care, leave them there. Even if they have been accidentally touched by people, mom will still clean them off and accept them back. It is an old wives' tale that mom will abandon them if people touch them. Baby birds can be placed back in their nest. Bunnies can be recovered with grass.
From Massachusetts Fisheries & Wildlife
Help Bats by Reporting Colonies
If you see a colony of bats, please let MassWildlife know! 10 or more bats make up a colony. We study bat colonies in Massachusetts to see how many have survived after the onset of White-nose Syndrome, a deadly disease affecting hibernating bats. Monitoring leads to advances in conservation and management for endangered bat species, ensuring protection and security of the colonies. Please email Jennifer Longsdorf to report a bat colony and include the address, location, type of structure where the colony was found (tree or building), and approximately how many bats are in the colony. Your help is greatly appreciated!
Since the onset of White-nose Syndrome in Massachusetts, the state’s population of bats has dwindled to less than 1% of what it was. In one abandoned mine, almost every bat hibernating over the 2008/2009 winter died from White-nose Syndrome. 10,000 bats dropped to just 14 in the span of a single season. White-nose Syndrome is caused by a fungus that grows on cave-hibernating bats during the winter. The growing fungus rouses the bats from hibernation, causing them to use up precious fat stores before fully waking in the spring, leading to starvation. As a result of the drastic mortality from White-nose Syndrome, all species of cave-hibernating bats are listed as Endangered in Massachusetts.
Two Species of Bats
The Little Brown Bat and the Big Brown Bat have summer colonies in Massachusetts. These colonies may be found in trees, buildings, or houses. The Little Brown Bat also hibernates in caves during the winter, where it can contract White-nose Syndrome. Before White-nose Syndrome in Massachusetts, the Little Brown Bat was the most common bat species in the state. We are especially interested in learning how surviving colonies of Little Brown Bats have persisted despite White-nose Syndrome, including the size and location of their colonies. This summer, we will be banding Little Brown Bats, and tagging all females with radio transmitters to help us locate maternal colonies. We will also be doing surveys, site visits to bat colonies, and monitoring any newly discovered maternity colonies to determine colony size, site ownership, and security. Monitoring long-term population changes will greatly help us understand the survival of Little Brown Bats. This work will be also be used in future recovery efforts.