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Doc Quack's Wildlife Volunteers

Wildlife Volunteers Mission Statement

The Wildlife Volunteers are an “elite” group of caring people of all ages striving to improve the quality of life for birds and wildlife in the East Bay Regional Park District.  We are dedicated to assisting the East Bay Regional Park District’s Stewardship staff with protecting, managing, conserving and enhancing the region’s important scenic and natural resources.  Wildlife Volunteers renew their connections to the land through sciences-based, hands-on conservation and resource management activities.

Please give some careful thought to the schedule of “Group Activities” you would most like to help with, and then call the District’s Reservation Department at 1-(888)-327-2757, option 2, to sign-up.  Also, please give us at least two weeks' notice and a phone number where we can leave you a voice-mail message.  Based on weather conditions, or other unseen circumstance, projects can be cancelled. 

Dave "Doc Quack" Riensche
Wildlife Biologist, Certified Wildlife Biologist ®

docquack@ebparks.org

Volunteer Activities

Schedule of Group Activities

Tentative and Subject to change please call two weeks in advance.

rail-rescue-rangers-150wRail Rescue Rangers 
During this hands-on adventure you’ll help create habitat for the federally and state endangered Ridgway’s Rail.  Join Wildlife Biologist staff and our Mobile Visitor Center crew to remove non-native plants, pick-up trash, and plant wildlife friendly vegetation which will restore the upland areas of the Roemer Bird Sanctuary for rails.  Physical labor is involved with this project.  By participating, you’ll earn your “Rail Rescue Ranger” patch. Parent participation is required. 

Date:
Saturday, September, 17, 2016   Time:  9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Saturday, October, 8, 2016        Time:  9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Registration Phone Number:
1-(888)-327-2757, option 2, to sign-up or District on-line Reservations.
Deadline to sign-up is 9/9/16 for the (9-17 date) and 9/30/16 for the (10-8 date).
Location:    
Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary, Crown Memorial State Beach
Directions:     
Exit Hwy 880 on 23rd Ave, head west over the Park St. Bridge into Alameda. 
Follow Park St. west across the island which dead ends at Shoreline Drive; turn left for the bird sanctuary (on the bay between Park St. and Broadway).  Meet at the Marsh Overlook.
What to Bring:
We recommend the following personal protective items:
Outdoor clothing (long pants), hiking boots (close-toed footwear), gloves, hats, water, and sunscreen.

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Rail Rescue Rangers

image005“Bird-A-Thon” – Fund Raising Event - No Class Number
Are you interested in participating in an exciting, renewing and rewarding birding adventure while helping to generate funds to support the Wildlife Volunteer Program?  During this “Quest for 101 Birds in a Day” event, you will get “nose to beak” with birds, while visiting several active bird research and restorations sites.  Our dawn to dusk adventure will take us through numerous locations recording the “Feathered Jewels” they contain, while generating tax-deductible donations to meet the mission of protecting and enhancing California least tern and western snowy plover nesting habitat in the District . Space is limited.  Register by contacting Doc Quack at docquack@ebparks.org

Instructor:               "Doc Quack", Certified Wildlife Biologist and Friends
Time:                       1/2 before Sunrise to 1/2 hour after Sunset.
Registration Email:     docquack@ebparks.org
Locations:                 TBA -  From a special interior Regional Park location downstream to the Bay. 
What to Bring:           We recommend the following personal protective items for watching breeding and migratory bird activity in a variety of landscape types:
Binoculars, water, lunch and trail snacks, outdoors clothing (long pants), hiking shoes/boots (Waterproof footwear), gloves, hat, windbreaker, sweater, jacket, sunglasses, insect repellant, and sunscreen.

Colony Caretakers – No Class Number
An exciting adventure over land and water to help create nesting habitat for the endangered California Least Tern and Western Snowy Plover awaits you.  We will pull weeds, place nesting materials, install tern decoys, build a chick fence, and set-up the sound system in anticipation of another exciting tern and plover breeding season.  Physical labor is involved with this project.  By participating, you’ll earn your “Colony Caretakers” patch. Parent participation required. Registration starts on 3/1/16. . Space is limited. Register by contacting Doc Quack at docquack@ebparks.org .

Location:     Hayward Regional Shoreline, Hayward
Directions:   In Hayward, from Hwy 880 south, right on Hwy 92, exit at Clawiter Road, make a left onto Breakwater Ave. (which parallels Hwy 92).

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Colony Caretakers

Publications & Reports

Volunteers’ efforts have contributed to these documents listed below.

Riensche, D.L., S.C. Gidre, N. A. Beadle and S.K. Riensche. 2015. Western Snowy Plover Nest Site Selection and Oyster Shell Enhancement. Western Wildlife 2:38-43.

Riensche, D.L., D. A. Bell, L. J. Roberts and J.K. Wood. 2014. Alameda Creek Riparian Bird Community Occupancy Analyses.  Proceedings 13th IWA Specialist Conference: Watershed and River Basin Management, San Francisco, USA. pages 1-10.

Riensche, D.L., D. A. Bell, C. Rocha, S. A. Lockett, C. A. Newell, R. Miller and B. Nantt. 2013.  Controlling mayweed chamomile to help endangered terns.  California Invasive Plant Council 21 (3): 4-5

Riensche, D.L., M. L.  Elliott and S. H.  Euing. 2013.  Breeding status, nesting densities & diet trends of two endangered  California Least Tern colonies. Journal of Environmental Science and Engineering.  2012: 1135-1145

Riensche, D.L., S. DuLava, E. Brownlee, D. A. Bell, S. High, M. Schynert, D. Wiley, S. Wiley and L. Vallee. 2012.  Kleptoparasitism by Forster’s Tern on California Least Tern.  Pacific Seabirds 39 (2): 55-56

Riensche, D.L., C. L. Kitting, T. C. Groff, S. Dulava and D. A. Bell. 2012. California Gull Predator Management and Reproductive Success of Endangered California Least Terns in the San Francisco Bay, California. Proceedings Vertebrate Pest Conference 25: xx-xx

Riensche, D., M. Morrow, M. Clark and C. Kitting.  2010.  Monitoring trends in a breeding bird assemblage with implications for riparian conservation.  Transactions of the Western Section of the Wildlife Society 46: 7-20

Riensche, D., C. Robinson-Nilsen and C. High.  2010.  Killdeer observed depredating a Western snowy plover nest.  Western Birds 41:184-185.
 
Riensche, D., J. Mena and A. Shawen. 2009. Western and Clark’s grebe nest platforms designed for fluctuating water levels.  Transactions of the Western Section of the Wildlife Society 45: 7 -16

Riensche, D. 2008.  Effects of Cattle Grazing on Lizard Diversity in Managed Central California Grasslands.  Transactions of the Western Section of the Wildlife Society 44: 4 -10

Riensche, D. 2008.  Sweat Equity at East Bay Adobe Acrobat PDF – How volunteers advance the cause of conservation.  The Wildlife Professional, Vol. 2, # 4: 53-55.

Riensche, D. 2007.  California Least Tern Habitat Enhancement and Nesting in the East Bay Regional Park District, California.  Transactions of the Western Section of the Wildlife Society 43: 62-71

Bell, D. A. and D. L. Riensche. 2006.  Lizard Abundance in Managed Central California Grasslands. Pages 1-2 in CAL-PAC Society for Range Management Symposium Grazing for Biological Conservation – June 23, 2006

Riensche, D. July-August 2003.  Born to be Wild: California Quail Reintroduction, the Coyote Hills Experience. Quail Unlimited, pp.16 -18.

Conference Posters

Restoration, Monitoring and Research Projects

Project flyers and brochures available for download in Adobe Acrobat PDF format Adobe Acrobat PDF.

Special Projects

If you are available on weekends or weekdays, are active participants in our group projects, and/or annually accumulate more than 25 hours of exemplary volunteer service, then please give me a call at (510) 544-2319, or e-mail me at docquack@ebparks.org. Because of the nature of the work and the sensitive species involved, “Doc Quack” makes the final determination on the staffing of these projects. If interested, please give me at least two weeks notice and a phone number (cell phone preferred) where I can leave you a voicemail message. Based on weather conditions, or other unforeseen circumstance, projects can be cancelled.  

Colony Caretakers 
An exciting adventure over land and water to help create nesting habitat for the endangered California Least Tern and Western Snowy Plover awaits you.  We will pull weeds, place nesting materials, install tern decoys, build a chick fence, and set-up the sound system in anticipation of another exciting tern and plover breeding season.  Physical labor is involved with this project.  By participating, you’ll earn your “Colony Caretakers” patch. Parent participation required.

Location: Hayward Regional Shoreline, Hayward
Directions:  In Hayward, from Hwy 880 south, right on Hwy 92, exit at Clawiter Road, make a left onto Breakwater Ave. (which parallels Hwy 92).

Turtle Trackers
Discover the beauty, mystery, and magic of our only native freshwater turtle while participating in field research to conserve and manage these special status species.  These are on-going dates that include setting up research stations, trapping, using radio-telemetry monitoring equipment, vegetation transects and the completion of field forms.  By participating, you’ll earn your “Turtle Telemetry Team” patch.  Physical labor is involved with this project.  Space is limited to current active Wildlife Volunteers. Parent participation required.  These are remote and rugged areas that require all participants to be “self-contained resources.”

Date(s) & Location:     TBA – call or email if interested.

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Turtle Tracking Team

Least Tern Colony Monitors
Here is your opportunity to become a “Birding-Peeping-Tom” by peering into the family life of California least terns. You will be helping to record data about their nest distribution, chronology and reproductive success using the Type 2 monitoring method.  In this method, surveys are conducted from a vehicle approximately 25m (75ft.) from the island at various times of day, with the majority of the surveys conducted from 0700 to 1700 hours, seven days a week.  A Cabela’s professional 60mm (2.4 in) spotting scope on a car window mount will be available. Physical labor is involved with this project.  Space is limited to current Wildlife Volunteers. By participating, you’ll earn your “Least Tern” patch.  Parent participation required – call or email if interested.

Location:     Hayward Regional Shoreline, Hayward
Directions:     In Hayward, from Hwy 880 south, right on Hwy 92, exit at Clawiter Road, make a left onto Breakwater Ave., (which parallels Hwy 92).

California-Least-Tern
California Least Tern. Courtesy of Daniel I. Riensche

Plover-Protection-Patrol-Logo-179wPlover Protection Patrol
You will enjoy the beach and bay setting while monitoring overwintering western snowy plovers.  These federally threatened species are protected by law from any harm or harassment.  You will be helping to record data about their behavior, distribution, chronology and potential disturbance factors.  Physical labor is involved with this project. By participating, you’ll earn your “Plover Protection Patrol” patch.  Space is limited to current active Wildlife Volunteers. Parent participation required.  

Location:     Crown Memorial State Beach, Alameda
Directions:     In Alameda along Shoreline Drive.

Western-Snowy-Plover
Western Snowy Plover. Courtesy of Daniel I. Riensche

Habitat Helpers
During this fun-filled opportunity you’ll discover the “nutty wildlife truths” about oak trees, and help make the world a better place one tree at a time.  For your kind act toward nature, you will receive a “Habitat Helpers” patch.  Physical labor is involved with this project.  Parent participation required – call or email if interested.
           

Location:      Lake Chabot Regional Park, Castro Valley
Directions:            In Castro Valley on I-580 westbound, take the Strobridge Avenue exit. Turn right on Strobridge, right on Castro Valley Boulevard, and left on Lake Chabot Road. The Lake Chabot Marina is about two miles ahead on the right. In Castro Valley on I-580 eastbound, exit at Redwood Road and go left, go left at Castro Valley Boulevard, right at Lake Chabot Road, and follow the directions above. Meet in the overflow parking lot south east of the kiosk.    

Riparian Re-Leaf & Hole-in-the-tree-Gang
Here is your opportunity to help the park’s wildlife by tending recently planted willow, cottonwood and sycamore trees. If time permits we may repair, build and install trees swallow nest boxes.  Physical labor is involved with this project.  By participating, you’ll earn your “Wetland Partners” patch.   Meet in the overflow parking lot adjacent to the entrance gate kiosk. Parent participation required – call or email if interested.

Location:     Coyote Hills Regional Park, Fremont
Directions:      In Fremont, take Hwy 880 to 84 – Decoto Road exit. Drive west on 84 and turn right to Paseo Padre Parkway.  Drive approximately a mile, then left on Patterson Ranch Road to the park entrance.  

salt-marsh-harvest-150wSalt Marsh Harvest Mouseketers 
We need help with an effort to document the continued presence of the Salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris) within the properties operated by the District along its 40 plus miles San Francisco Bay Shoreline.  These are on-going dates that include setting up research stations, trapping, vegetation transects and the completion of field forms.  Physical labor is involved with this project. By participating, you’ll earn your “Salt Marsh Harvest Mouseketers” patch.  Space is limited to current active Wildlife Volunteers. Parent participation required.  These are remote and rugged areas that require all participants to be “self-contained resources.”

Date(s) & Location:  TBA – call or email if interested.

Lizard Legionnaire
Discover the beauty, mystery, and magic of the region’s reptiles while participating in field research to conserve and manage grassland wildlife.  These are on-going dates that include setting our research plots, trapping, monitoring, vegetation transects and hands-on data entry.  Physical labor is involved with this project By participating, you’ll earn your “Managed Grasslands Research” patch.  Space is limited to current Wildlife Volunteers. Parent participation required.  These are remote and rugged areas that require all participants to be “self-contained resources,” and in most cases vehicle access is by four-wheel drive.  

Date(s) & Location:     TBA – call or email if interested.

How to Volunteer

To become an “official” Wildlife Volunteer, please attend several of our Group Activities (listed above) and then request an application from:

Dave "Doc Quack" Riensche
Wildlife Biologist, Certified Wildlife Biologist ®
East Bay Regional Park District
P.O. Box 5381
Oakland, CA 94605-0381
docquack@ebparks.org


Scheduled group activities require registration. To register, call the District’s Reservation Department at 1-888-327-2757 to sign-up at least two weeks before the event. Based on weather conditions or other unseen circumstance, projects may be cancelled.

Make a Tax-Deductible Donation

Please make check payable to the Regional Parks Foundation in support of a Doc Quack program of your choice and send to the Regional Parks Foundation, P.O. Box 21074, Crestmont Station Oakland, CA 94620. The Regional Parks Foundation's Federal Tax ID # is 23-7011877.
Visit the Regional Parks Foundation online!