Summer volunteers needed to help wildlife

Summer volunteers needed to help wildlife Wildlife Experiences, Inc. (WEI) and South Dakota's Department of Game, Fish, and Parks announce the third year of a program to reintroduce osprey into eastern South Dakota. This year, Wildlife Experiences is looking for a few dedicated volunteers to help watch the young birds and to talk to visitors about the project. Volunteers will be needed from shortly after sunrise until shortly before sunset each day while the birds are learning to hunt on their own, but typical shifts for volunteers will range from four to eight hours at a time. Those interested in volunteering should contact WEI's Executive Director Melissa Horton, at (605) 341-2762 before July 10.

Osprey are fish-eating hawks that nest and hunt along waterways throughout the world. Although osprey nest at Pactola Reservoir, they are listed as a state-threatened species in South Dakota. Young birds will be removed from nests in Idaho and transported to release sites between Yankton and Vermillion on July 13. Last year 20 osprey were brought from Idaho for the project.

Wildlife Experiences is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to helping people of all ages enjoy and learn about animals. WEI also operates a bird of prey rehabilitation program and is based in Rapid City.

For more information, contact Melissa Horton, director of WEI, at (605) 341-2762 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., or email . Project updates also are posted on Wildlife Experiences' Web site>.

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