Wheels for Wildlife Team
Volunteer drivers provide ground transport for wildlife patients
Founded in 2012, the Wheels for Wildlife (W4W) Program is a volunteer-based transport team that expedites the response process for wildlife needing medical treatment and rehabilitative care. All species of native birds and the Hawaiian hoary bat are transported and volunteers on all islands are welcomed to join.
There is no pressure or requirement to carry out transports. When we need a transport, we put out the call to our W4W volunteers to see who is up for the mission. If you’re unavailable, no worries! We will move on to the next volunteer for that transport.
Wheels for Wildlife Volunteers are asked to assist us in the following ways:
- Transport an injured native bird to HWC or to a Rescue Partner
We may ask you to meet up with the person who found the injured bird or have you transport the bird between Rescue Partners. In most cases the bird will already be prepped for transport upon pickup. Occasionally volunteers may need to assist in catching up a bird. You will be notified beforehand what the rescue involves and given the opportunity to decline if it is something you’re not comfortable with assisting.
- Airport Pick-up/Drop-off
You may be asked to pick-up or drop-off bird at the airport for inter-island travel. The bird will be in a carrier and you will be given specific airport and flight instructions.
Note: HWC possesses the permits necessary to legally transport native birds. You will be given copies of these permits upon acceptance into the program. We will also provide you with a packet of information and instructions for getting the bird safely to its destination.
Volunteer Training and Regulations
W4W volunteers are individuals with diverse backgrounds, from biologists to conservation-minded community members. Volunteers keep in contact with HWC staff during the transport process as clear communication is critical for a smooth transition from transport into rehabilitation or from transport to release.
W4W volunteers receive training on:
- animal handling safety
- patient stress reduction
- Dept. of Agriculture inspection procedure
- flight on-boarding procedure
Ready to Join The Team?
To apply to join the Wheels for Wildlife team, please fill out the online application. If you’d like more information, you can also reach out to the birdhelp email address. (Prefer a paper form? You can print out one here)