Three Rivers Avian Center (“TRAC”) is a private 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to wild bird conservation and to educating and involving people in ecosystem stewardship. Founded in 1990, TRAC’s 103 acre facility is located in the southern portion of the New River Gorge National River, between Sandstone and Hinton in Summers County, West Virginia.
What We Do:-
*Veterinary & Rehabilitative Care:- Emergency care, surgery, hospitalization and a full range of physical therapy treatments for non-game & endangered wild birds is provided by a coordinated network of 20 hospice veterinarians combined with a statewide support crew of volunteers and on-site staff. From hummingbirds to eagles, wading birds to soaring birds, TRAC cares for each species’ individual requirements; including diet, perching, water access, caging substrates, light levels, and behavioral needs.
TRAC has treated 2,747 patients representing 105 species from 1990 through 2008, releasing almost half. Recovered patients are usually released back into their native environments to help ensure their long-term survival unless there is some overwhelming reason to release the individual in a safer habitat elsewhere. Annual reports of the patients we have cared for are posted on our web page at www.tracwv.org/birdsin.html.
*Public Environmental Education:- TRAC’s award-winning public outreach programs are carefully designed to help individuals understand the native birds and ecosystems around them and to encourage individuals in ecosystem stewardship. Schools, universities, civic groups, child care groups, state parks and forests are just a few who regularly request our programs, allowing us to reach over 194,480 individuals from the beginning of our outreach efforts in 1993 through 2008. In 2008 TRAC broke our previous annual attendance records, reaching 20,680 people during the course of the year. A full listing of upcoming events is available on our website: www.tracwv.org/upcoming.html.
Also as a part of our public outreach, TRAC publishes a quarterly newsletter “The Raptor Chapter”; maintains an extensive Internet website (www.tracwv.org) with over 700 hits daily; and has created and administers the “Migration Celebration”, a unique festival designed to interest the public in West Virginia, our birds and our natural heritage. The annual Migration Celebration is held at Little Beaver State Park near Beckley, WV on the second Saturday in May (International Migratory Bird Day) with the active support of the WV Division of Culture and History, the WV Department of Natural Resources, the WV Department of Agriculture Insect Survey, National Park Service - New River Gorge National River, WV Falconers, birders, photographers, storytellers, reenactors and many others.
*Research & Conservation:- Understanding all aspects of a species is a vital part of any wildlife-centered program. TRAC helps provide data for research projects focused on native avian populations and avian habitats, including location found, blood samples, feather and tissue samples, cause of injury or illness, observed physical movements, and behavioral details among others. Information is also shared on-line with other wildlife rehabilitation groups and educators around the United States and the world.
Three Rivers Avian Center (“TRAC”) is a private 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing veterinary & rehabilitative care to threatened wild birds as well as educating and involving the public in ecosystem stewardship. Founded in 1990, TRAC’s 102 acre facility is located in the southern portion of the New River Gorge National River, between Sandstone and Hinton in Summers County, West Virginia. TRAC’s extensive website is available at www.tracwv.org. The public is invited to come visit during our free public tour days. These are held on the first Saturday of each month May - October from 1 - 5 pm. All other tours are by appointment only.
*Species Restoration:- Three Rivers Avian Center, the WV Department of Natural Resources, the National Park Service - New River Gorge and the College of William & Mary’s Center for Conservation Biology have joined together in a five year effort to reestablish peregrine falcon populations in their native southern Appalachian haunts. Working with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and State Wildlife Biologists from Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, young peregrines are taken from dangerous nesting sites in each state and brought to the New River Gorge near Fayetteville, West Virginia to be raised and released. In 2006 sixteen young peregrines took wing, in 2007 twenty four more nestling peregrine falcons were released. The single season release in 2007 marked the largest release of peregrine falcons from a single site in the species’ recovery history. In 2008, Three Rivers Avian Center was placed in charge of the restoration project in West Virginia and an additional twenty-one young peregrines took to the Gorge skies. Full details of the project, including photographs, hacksite web camera feeds during the season, satellite tracking data and more are available on the TRAC website: www.tracwv.org/restoration.html.
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