In a City Defined by People and Politics, He Makes Headlines Because of Birds

August 07, 2022  •  Leave a Comment

“We can learn a few things from birds at this time. One is that even though our lives are in a very strange place, nature is doing its best to continue on.” Dan Rauch, Fisheries and Wildlife Biologist for the District of Columbia, quoted on American University Radio


In my latest podcast, I’m talking with Dan Rauch. Dan is a Fisheries and Wildlife Biologist at Washington, DC’s Department of Energy and Environment. If you love, or even like wildlife, then you should love a wildlife biologist too. Dan does a lot of interesting and important work on behalf of the citizens of the District of Columbia – which I’m one – but also on behalf of the diverse wildlife that make Washington, DC their home. Many in the DC area -- and beyond -- first learned about Dan because he’s often in the news. Whether he’s helping bald eagles, snowy owls, turkeys, or helping DC residents coexist with wildlife, Dan loves what he does. In a city of over 700,000 residents – not counting the additional hundreds of thousands that come to work in DC; thousands of wild animals, and mostly highly developed land, it’s a big job.




Here's the questions we covered on the latest podcast. Listen now.


  • Tell us about yourself.


  • Wildlife biologists serve throughout local, state, and the federal government. What’s the role of wildlife biologists in the District of Columbia?


  • What excites you about being a Wildlife Biologist?


  • This past winter (winter 2022) the District was visited by a Snowy Owl who took up residence near Union Station. Photographers began documenting that she was eating rats in the area – which is great – except for the concerns about the use of rat poison in that area. You got involved in addressing those concerns. Walk us through what happened and how the District responded.


  • What have you learned from being in this field that other people should know?


  • What are some common things people struggle with in your field?


  • Do you have a favorite species?


  • Where can listeners learn more about more you and the District of Columbia’s wildlife?



Read more about Dan and the District of Columbia's Department of Energy and the Environment:




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