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Rachel Avilla has been a Wildlife Rehabilitator since 2003. After graduating from college with a BS in Environmental Science, she started volunteering/working for The Bird Rescue Center in Santa Rosa, CA – Lindsay Wildlife Hospital in Walnut Creek, CA – Belize Bird Rescue, in Roaring Creek, Belize –  Native Songbird Care and Conservation in Sebastopol, CA. She is the co-founder of the Wild Neighbor’s Database Project and has supported the development of WRMD by adding the human element to the design and managing customer relations. Since WRMD has been a booming success it has given her the opportunity to visit dozens of centers all of the US and abroad. With this experience, she has developed a unique view into wildlife rehabilitation internationally and has made it her goal to discover the leverage points of this field. How can wildlife rehabilitators best continue to improve their skills and knowledge as well as bring its hard work and knowledge to the forefront of science to use that collective data to better help wildlife as a whole?

As much as she loves working directly with the animals and wishes she could contribute more to direct animal care, she has come to the acknowledgement that at this point her skills are best used in organizing the community as a whole. With her experience of collaborating with hundreds of organizations and thousands of users she has gained a view of the big picture. To this end she joined the California Council for Wildlife Rehabilitators (CCWR) board of directors in 2017 and took on Presidency in 2018. CCWR is one of the largest and oldest statewide wildlife rehabilitation organizations and has the opportunity to make a difference at a state level. Where California goes, so does the rest of the nation, eventually.