WAYNE, PA — END ROADKILL Pennsylvania, a volunteer-based marketing and fundraising initiative, is partnering with local wildlife rehabilitation centers throughout the Keystone State to raise $25,000 for the care of sick, orphaned and injured wildlife. The fundraising campaign also seeks to minimize roadkill incidents by promoting biking, hiking and walking as transportation alternatives—as well as innovative ways to raise money for wildlife rehabs by November 6th, the last day of Give Wildlife a Brake Week.
Each year, one in 116 Americans will be involved in an auto collision with an animal while the odds are even higher in Pennsylvania, where there’s a 1 in 52 chance of hitting an animal while driving, according to State Farm. This places the state third in the country for the number of animal-related collisions with the peak being fall season during deer migration and mating. Pennsylvania sees more than 110,000 deer collisions alone every year, according to the 2019 Whitetail Report published by Quality Deer Management Association.
While there are fewer cars on the roads and people are driving fewer miles in 2020 due to COVID-19, according to global tax, audit and advisory services firm KPMG, wild animals are still at great risk of:
- Suffering injuries or being killed by cars and trucks
- Being orphaned or abandoned after the mother is killed
- Being injured by “weapons” from plastic rings to aluminum cans to lead fishing weights
- Poisoning by rodenticide, transferred up the food chain
- Getting stuck on spotted lanternfly tape
Pennsylvania state Rep. Mary Jo Daley of Montgomery/Chester County, is a strong supporter of the END ROADKILL Pennsylvania project. She introduced House Resolution 670 in January to study the feasibility of establishing conservation corridors in Pennsylvania to help reduce roadkill incidents, among other benefits. The Resolution is now in Committee.
Pennsylvania ranks as one of the top states in accidents involving animals and conservation corridors can help us to move down in those rankings,” said Rep. Daley. “In the meantime, these wildlife rehabilitation centers need our help. The professional staff of these centers are often assisted by dedicated volunteers who spend hours of their own time caring for animals with all types of injuries, including those from vehicles on Pennsylvania roads, with the goal of having the rehabilitated wildlife return to their natural habitat.”
“In the spring and summer, the majority of our patients are infants who were orphaned or somehow separated from their mothers,” explained Deb Welter, who founded the Diamond Rock Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic in Malvern, Pennsylvania, in 2005, speaking of her work now primarily with bats. Three Pennsylvania cave bat species have recently been added to the Endangered Species List. “These orphans are raised using the correct nutritional formulas and foods for each species. When they’re old enough to be able to care for themselves, they’re released in a suitable area, preferably close to where they were originally found.” As a non-profit, Diamond Rock is not funded by local, state or federal government, so its only income is donations from the public. Without sufficient resources, injured, orphaned and sick animals sometimes get turned away.
“Wildlife rehabilitators are what we’ve termed ‘wildlife samaritans’, exceptional people who go out of their way to care for, be kind to, save, rescue and heal wild animals,” said Kennerly Clay, originator of the END ROADKILL Pennsylvania project. ““We wanted to make sure these amazing volunteers and centers have the food, medicine, and other supplies they need to nurture wild animals throughout the year.”
To bike, hike, walk, shop or donate for wildlife rehabs, visit the Ways to Raise page on the END ROADKILL Pennsylvania site. Find out which wildlife rehabs in your region can benefit from this initiative. For example, for just $4.50 a day—a fraction of the $8 billion dollars spent every year on wildlife-vehicle collisions—donors can nurture an animal from sickness to health to release into the wild, or from orphaned baby into maturity and release.
For more information, visit endroadkillpa.com.
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