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Becoming a Wildlife Rehabilitator


Laws on what is needed to become a licensed wildlife rehabilitator vary from province to province and from state to state. There is no "formal" education that is needed although many states require experience working under a licensed rehabber for a certain amount of time. Some provinces and states now require passing an exam before being licensed to care for injured/orphaned wildlife.

 

If you are interested in this field, the BEST place to start is to find a licensed wildlife rehabilitator in your area and volunteer with them for awhile. This way, you will learn what is involved in wildlife rehabilitation along with its many joys and heartaches. Please be aware that it is very hard work with long hours and that MOST rehabbers work strictly on a volunteer basis and are not paid. There are SOME centers  that do have paid positions, but most are run by volunteers. There are many wildlife rehabbers who operate from their own homes, others who have combined to operate small centers, and others that have very large centers with a few paid staff.

 

Next, it would be VERY wise to begin by joining your local provincial or state wildlife rehabilitation organization as a minimum, and then  one or both of the national wildlife rehabilitation organizations. The both offer a LOT of information and resources for wildlife rehabilitators and those interested in pursuing education in this area. Your local provincial or state rehabilitation organizations will often offer training classes in basic wildlife rehabilitation (and more advanced classes) around the country so be sure to check out their information.

 

Most local rehab organizations also hold yearly conferences and symposiums to help you network with the rehabbers in your area and keep you updated with local wildlife disease information and any regulations.  The international organizations also offer courses and conferences, but they are on a more global scale and are excellent resources for expanding your network of information.

 

National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA)
International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC)

 


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Disclaimer:  The advice found on these pages is NOT intended as a do it yourself guide.  All native wildlife needs to be in the skilled hands of a licensed wildlife rehabilitator,  and any medical care must be provided by licensed veterinarians.

If you have an emergency with an injured wild animal, contact your local animal control or humane society for immediate assistance.  

This page last updated 11/27/2012 02:03 AM