"Our mission is to educate the public about man's impact on the environment and mitigate that impact through care and rehabilitation of native wildlife."
Wildlife Rehabilitation Program
The Wetlands & Wildlife Care Center (WWCC) is dedicated to the rehabilitation and release of sick, injured and orphaned native wildlife, some of which are threatened/endangered species. The center is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Captive Reared Snowy Plover Program
In collaboration with the Bolsa Chica Conservancy, abandoned Western Snowy Plover eggs found on the wetlands, are captive reared at our facility and then released back into the wild. The Western Snowy Plover is a threatened/endangered species.
Oiled Wildlife Care Program
Our center is registered with the Oiled Wildlife Care Network (OWCN) which is composed of six major rehabilitation facilities and more than 40 wildlife organizations in California to provide critical staff, resources, volunteers and oiled animal stabilization during an oil spill response. The OWCN organization was established in 1994 by the Department of Fish and Game’s Office of Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) as a result of the terrible oil spills of the Exxon Valdez in Alaska and the American Trader in Huntington Beach, the OWCN is administered by the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center in the School of Veterinary Medicine.
Outreach and Education Program
The Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center participates and hosts many educational and community events (on and off-site) each year, provides online educational materials, educates the public about wildlife via social media and telephone counseling for wildlife related issues and more. In collaboration with the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy, our fun and educational tours visit the Interpretive Center and the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center which is a working animal hospital for wildlife.
Hummingbird Rehabilitation Program
WWCC is 1 of only 2 permitted Hummingbird rehabilitation facilities in all of Orange County, CA. More than 600 Hummingbirds come in annually with a release rate higher than the national average. With intensive training and oversight by our species specialists, qualified volunteers provide home care for Hummingbirds. Through telephone counseling, we educate the public about trying first to re-nest or reunite fledglings rather than rescuing them when they might not need to be rescued.
Volunteers are essential to our center, in fact, we can’t operate without them. The center hosts orientations for new volunteers 6-7 times a year, offers continuing education and training, volunteer appreciation, guest speakers and presentations, and community involvement. Responsibility is emphasized in the program; our responsibility as citizens to care for the environment and the volunteers' individual responsibility to arrive on time, follow rules, ask questions and work hard. Volunteers enjoy working in small groups with experienced staff while learning to handle and care for wild animals. Adaptability and working calmly under stress are part of the daily environment at our busy, ever-changing facility. Attending an animal release is the ultimate reward for our wildlife rehabilitation volunteers. Other volunteer opportunities include: working special events, data entry, answering phones, stuffing envelopes, doing laundry and more.
The Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center serves injured and orphaned wildlife throughout Southern California. In 1990, 400,000 gallons of Alaskan crude oil were spilled off the coast of Huntington Beach, sickening over 1,200 birds. Less than half of the effected bird survived treatment at a makeshift facility.
As a result, the Alliance for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education and the Huntington Beach Wetlands Conservancy began taking steps to provide a permanent facility capable of responding to the wildlife injured in daily encounters with humans and future toxic spills.
On March 31, 1998, with the assistance of the California Department of Fish and Game Office of Spill Prevention and Response, Southern California Edison and others, the Wetlands and Wildlife Care Center(WWCC) opened its doors in Huntington Beach.
The WWCC is capable of rehabilitating over 400 animals at a time. The facility is equipped with animal washing stations, a hospital, indoor and outdoor caging area to prepare food and a large storage container. The treatment and rehabilitation areas are closed to the general public, but tours may be arranged. Please call for details.
The Center has evolved over the years into a sophisticated network of rehabilitation professionals and volunteers, unique to the southland in accessibility, expertise and results. We are proud of the dedicated veterinarians, trained wildlife technicians and certified volunteers who make our success possible.
The Center is continually expanding to better serve the needs of Orange County and the surrounding areas. Please join the effort to coexist with local wildlife. Volunteer your time or make a donation. Support your wildlife center!
Board of Directors
Greg Hickman - Director Educator
Debbie McGuire - Director Hospital Administrator, All Creatures Care Cottage
Anne Stratton - Secretary Center Manager, Board Member
Gordon Smith, PhD - Director Educator, California State University
Liz Weston - Webmaster Board Member
John Villa - CFO Volunteer Coordinator, Board Member