Selecting release sites for rehabilitated raptors

What happens when wildlife is injured in urban areas? 

Wildlife rehabilitation organizations provide a great service to cities by taking in injured wildlife and rehabilitating them to be released back into the environment, if possible. When choosing where to release wildlife, many factors must be considered, including suitable habitat available, human and road density, where the animal came from, the threats present in the origin area, and the threats present in potential release areas. 

I aim to assist wildlife rehabilitation organizations in selecting release sites in suitable habitat that minimize threats while maximizing long-term survival of the animal. 

To do this, I am designing species distribution models for several raptor species and creating an online GIS to help rehabilitators select the best sites efficiently and effectively. 

This black vulture was a bit confused after being released. 

Great horned owl ready to be back on their own! 

What is coming up?

The RaPTR tool and all release suitability maps can be accessed at We will be publishing a manuscript in the coming months describing the project. Stay posted for updates!