CITY WILDLIFE INC

Washington, DC   |  www.citywildlife.org

Mission

City Wildlife was created to address the increasing conflict between wild animals and people in Washington, DC. Over the past several decades, local wildlife habitat has been severely depleted, and wild animals have had to adapt to living in close proximity with people. Each year hundreds of wild animals in DC are unintentionally harmed by people and the urban environment.

Our mission is the protection of wildlife, and wildlife habitats, in the metro Washington DC region.

Our goals are:

To manage a rescue center to assist sick, orphaned, and injured wild animals and return the to the wild;
To promote the enjoyment of native wildlife and harmonious co-existence with wild animals; and
To protect the District of Columbia’s wild places for animal habitats.

Ruling year info

2009

President

Ms. Anne M. Lewis

Executive Director

Mr. James E. Monsma

Main address

P.O. Box 60078

Washington, DC 20039 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

26-2641235

NTEE code info

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Veterinary Services (D40)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

City Wildlife was created to address the need for wildlife rescue and rehabilitation in Washington, DC. Over the past several decades, urban development has reduced local wildlife habitat, and wild animals have had to adapt to living in close proximity with people. Each year, hundreds of wild animals in DC are unintentionally harmed by people and the urban environment. People who come across these injured or orphaned wild animals are frequently desperate to get them appropriate help. But private individuals cannot keep wild animals without the requisite permits, nor do they have the skills, knowledge, and equipment to treat the animals. Private veterinarians are unable to help for the same reasons.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Wildlife Rehab Center

The Center treats 1,800 injured, ill, and orphaned wild birds, small mammals, and native reptiles and amphibians annually. It houses a complete veterinary suite and pharmacy, plus housing, foods, and equipment appropriate for all the diverse species with which it works. The care of the animals is directed by a staff wildlife veterinarian with the assistance of staff rehabilitators and volunteers.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Each year, Center staff responds to thousands of telephone and email requests for information on understanding wildlife and living in harmony with wild animals. It also provides educational programs relating to wildlife natural history and wildlife rehabilitation for schools, youth groups, civic associations, and other groups.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Collisions with buildings kill more birds than any other single human factor besides habitat loss and domestic cats. In urban areas, the problem worsens during periods of migration. Most neo-tropical songbirds migrate at night to avoid turbulence in the air and they navigate by the stars. Passing over cities, they are often attracted to artificial lights and frequently strike transparent or reflective windows. The blow can be fatal or it can leave the birds injured and vulnerable to predators and street sweepers.

During migratory seasons, Lights Out DC volunteers walk a four-mile route in downtown Washington to inspect buildings and collect dead or injured migratory birds that have collided with glass. Injured birds are monitored and released (if recovered) or taken to City Wildlife’s rehabilitation center if their injuries are more severe. Dead birds are tagged and saved. The statistics are used to convince building owners and managers to adopt light abatement procedures for the sake of migrating birds.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Each spring and summer, mother Mallard ducks lay eggs in courtyards, parks, and on roofs across the city. When the eggs hatch, the ducklings are often stranded. Traffic, the distance to the ground, or barriers that the ducklings cannot climb over prevent them from reaching a source of open water for the food and protection they need.

City Wildlife’s Duck Watch educates residents and building managers as to how they can help Mallard families and make unsuitable nesting sites less appealing to mother Mallards. During nesting season, Duck Watch volunteers monitor Mallard nests. Ideally, as soon as the ducklings hatch, mom will begin leading them to water. In cases where the ducklings are trapped, volunteers are available to help.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of animals treated at the rehabilitation center.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Wildlife Rehab Center

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Number of animals treated varies given weather patterns and other factors. With fewer people about, the pandemic also reduced animal intake numbers, although the clinic was open every day.

Number of telephone calls resolving animal issues effectively and humanely.

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Educational Programs

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Many people call about wildlife problems that can be resolved over the telephone, without bringing the animal in for treatment. In addition to calls, many inquiries are emailed (not counted).

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our goals are:
•To manage a rescue center to assist sick, orphaned, and injured wild animals and return them to the wild;
•To promote the enjoyment of native wildlife and harmonious co-existence with wild animals; and
•To protect the District of Columbia’s wild places for animal habitats.

In pursuit of its goals to protect wildlife in the District of Columbia, City Wildlife currently provides five foundational programs for the community.

1) The City Wildlife rehabilitation center (15 Oglethorpe Street, NW) accepts ill, injured, and orphaned native wild animals every day of the year, including weekends and holidays, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The goal is to treat the animals and return them to the wild once they recover and are able to survive on their own.
2) Each year, City Wildlife staff responds to thousands of telephone and email inquiries about wildlife and requests for information as to how to help and live in harmony with native wild animals. Timely information on wildlife is also distributed through the organization's website and social media accounts. Finally, the center provides frequent and free educational programs on wildlife to schools, civic groups, and the public.
3) Every spring and fall, City Wildlife's Lights Out DC volunteers monitor a portion of the downtown area for migratory birds that have collided with windows. Injured victims are brought to the center for rehabilitation; dead birds are donated to scientific institutions. The data is used to identify problematic buildings and suggest steps property managers can take to ameliorate the problem.
4) City Wildlife's Duck Watch program aids nesting Mallards by protecting nests and helping families with newly hatched birds get to bodies of water. They often have to help duck families cross busy roadways, navigate curbs and steps, get down from roofs and balconies, and get out of enclosed courtyards. They also disperse information to help people understand and aid nesting urban ducks, and they consult with home owners and property managers on making their sites more duck-friendly.
5) Finally, City Wildlife networks with an active coalition of other local environmental organizations to advocate for the protection of the natural areas in District of Columbia, such as Kenilworth Park and Kingman and Heritage Islands, to ensure that these areas remain safe havens for wildlife.

City Wildlife maintains all of the required government permits that allow it to work with wild animals. Its rehabilitation clinic is directed by Dr. Cheryl Chooljian, a veterinarian who specializes in the care and treatment of wild animals. The surgical suite where she practices is fully equipped with digital radiograph, anesthesia apparatus, blood testing machines, and a comprehensive veterinary pharmacy. Experienced staff wildlife rehabilitators and a trained corps of volunteers assist in the animals' care and treatment, and the center maintains an array of different housing and dietary options for the variety of species with which it works. The staff at the center is also trained to field the many phone calls and emails it receives on wildlife behavior and how to alleviate conflicts with wild animals in a humane manner.

Lights Out DC also maintains the permits the program needs. (Duck Watch does not require any permits.) Volunteers for both programs undergo extensive training from seasoned veterans before undertaking their duties. Data and statistics from Lights Out DC is published on the City Wildlife website, where comprehensive Duck Watch information is also available. Ultimately, the two all-volunteer programs are building a connected and educated community of wildlife-friendly urbanites.

City Wildlife coordinates with other local environmental groups -- DC Audubon Society, DC Environmental Network, Anacostia Watershed Society, Audubon Naturalist Society, DC Sierra Club, and others -- to advocate for the preservation of natural lands in the District of Columbia for wildlife habitat. Of particular interest to the coalition is keeping Kingman/Heritage Island and South Kenilworth Park as habitat that works for wildlife.

Since City Wildlife was incorporated in 2008, it has opened the first-ever wildlife rehabilitation clinic in the District of Columbia and launched its very successful Lights Out DC and Duck Watch programs. The rehabilitation center currently treats about 7,000 animals each year. Of these, about 300 patients each year are listed as Species of Greatest Conservation Need by DC’s Wildlife Action Plan. Telephone and email advice on wild animals and how to help them is available between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. 365 days of the year, and City Wildlife staff posts educational content on social media accounts several times a week. Finally, educational programs, which are held online for the most part during the pandemic, happen throughout the year. Many of these are aimed specifically at young people.

City Wildlife's Lights Out DC program marked its tenth anniversary in 2020 with a special report on the problem of bird/glass collisions in the District of Columbia. This report and all of the program's data is available on the City Wildlife website. Lights Out DC data has been used by Smithsonian conservation biologists to quantify the problem of window strikes in the U.S. Meanwhile, at the urging of Lights Out DC, several downtown buildings have taken effective steps to prevent birds from colliding with their windows.

Duck Watch volunteers monitor and assist between 60 and 70 nests each year. They have also been instrumental in constructing duck ramps in pools and channeled bodies of water to make them usable for families of waterfowl.

All of the above efforts of City Wildlife have attracted the attention and aid of governmental agencies, nonprofits, and the public, and they have been featured in local, national, and even international media reports.

Areas of growth for City Wildlife include efforts to expand the number of individual animals and species it can treat at its rehabilitation center, continuing to expand the reach and effectiveness of Lights Out DC and Duck Watch, increasing the organization's active participation in a growing coalition of environmental groups that focus on the preservation of wildlife habitat, and reaching ever more people -- especially through work in schools -- with practical information to help local wildlife thrive for the enjoyment of all.

Financials

CITY WILDLIFE INC
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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CITY WILDLIFE INC

Board of directors
as of 4/28/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Ms. Anne Lewis


Board co-chair

Ms. Maryanna Kieffer

Lisa Olson

April Linton

Virginia May

Anne Armstrong

National Guard Educational Association

Lisbeth Fuisz

Peter Glassman, DVM

Paula Goldberg

John Hadidian, PhD

Veska Kita

ACI Group International

Helen O'Brien

Mike Prucker

National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare

Gertrude Scanlan

Braden Herman

Jim Monsma

Director, City Wildlife

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Not applicable
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/28/2021,

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/28/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.