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Mission

The Mission of IWRC

 

Our Mission Promotes Wildlife Conservation

Providing science-based education and resources to wildlife rehabilitators and the public to promote wildlife conservation and welfare.

Our Educational Programs are Science Based

Traditional Classroom Training:  Launched in 1984, IWRC’s Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation course was the first of its kind.  A combination of lecture and lab, the two-day class covered topics such as basic anatomy and physiology, handling and physical restraint, thermoregulation, stress, initial care and physical examination, nutrition and associated diseases, standards for housing, zoonoses, euthanasia criteria and release criteria.Students at the injections station during the basic wildlife rehabilitaiton course lab.

Although the content has been updated a multitude of times, 25 years later the format and concept of the class remains the same.  Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation has been delivered to wildlife rehabilitators in eleven countries including the United States, Canada, Guatemala, Honduras, Greece, Turkey, Mexico, Ireland, Poland, England, and South Africa.  Today, the class is held 15 to 20 times a year in locations throughout the United States and Canada.  Classes are scheduled by request, most frequently by rehabilitation centers, state and regional rehabilitation organizations, pre-vet clubs and natural resource agencies.

Learn more about IWRC’s Live Classroom Courses

Online Training:  In order to give more rehabilitators access to professional training, in 2005 IWRC developed a new distance education program.  Taking advantage of emerging technologies, IWRC offers both live and on demand online courses, incorporating lectures, discussions, and web-based examinations.

Courses are developed by veterinarians, biologists, and seasoned wildlife rehabilitators specializing in different aspects of wildlife rehabilitation and medicine. Regardless of the delivery method (classroom or online), all IWRC training courses are developed and rigorously peer-reviewed by professionals who excel in their areas of expertise—veterinarians, biologists, rehabilitators, nutritionists, and scientists from related fields work together to bring wildlife rehabilitators the most current and reliable information available.

Learn more about IWRC’s Online Training

International Symposium:  For over 30 years, IWRC’s annual symposium has been providing science based presentations from researchers worldwide.  When the first conference was held in 1977, it was the first of its kind.  Since then, as national, state and regional groups have formed and replicated the traditional conference format, the opportunity for this kind of learning has become increasingly accessible.  Today the IWRC’s annual symposium continues to offer science and research based presentations, but has also added practical skills seminars.

Learn more about  IWRC’s Annual Symposium

Membership:  If any field is defined by variety, it is wildlife rehabilitation.  Rehabilitators, rescuers, veterinarians, technicians, administrators, researchers, educators, regulatory agents… the contributions of each are crucial to the success of the whole.

As wildlife rehabilitators attempt to learn as much as possible from many different disciplines, the opportunities that networking alone can provide is fundamental.  IWRC’s conferences, symposia, Member Directory and the Animal Placement List provide a world of resources, and the opportunity to meet and consult with colleagues both near and far.  Through the organizations diverse network, members have access to experts in various areas, unique insights on issues affecting wildlife, populations, species, and habitats.

Become an IWRC Member

Professional Certification:  The field of wildlife rehabilitation is a fairly new vocation, the requirements for becoming a legal practitioner are in constant flux and they vary widely around the world.  This challenges the credibility of the field and the work of wildlife rehabilitators.

In 2007, IWRC introduced the Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator (CWR) certificate program as part of their mission to raise the quality of care provided to wildlife in distress. Although certification is voluntary, receiving certification is an objective affirmation that a rehabilitator has met minimum knowledge standards. Certification shows permitting agency personnel, veterinarians, and members of the public, a rehabilitators’ commitment to professionalism and providing the highest quality care.  IWRC serves as the certification body, administering the exam, but certification policies are managed by an independent board, the Certification Review Board.

Our Publications and Resources are Peer Reviewed

Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation:  As a membership benefit the Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation is designed to provide useful information to wildlife rehabilitators and others involved in the care and treatment of native wild species, with the ultimate purpose of returning them to the wild.

The first issue was published in the winter of 1977. Within a few years of its inception, the Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation received support from the Animal Protection Institute of Sacramento, California to improve and expand the publication, and by Volume 9, No. 3, the Journal’s feature articles were peer-reviewed.  The Journal is a valued resource in the wildlife rehabilitation community, published online three times a year in full color.

Through the Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation, IWRC works to disseminate information and improve the quality of care provided to wildlife.

Check out the Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation

Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation:  In 1984 IWRC collaborated with the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA) to develop and publish minimum care standards for rehabilitation work, Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation (MSWR).  While captive-care literature existed for the zoo community, nothing existed for care and treatment of wild animals that were going to be released back into their native habitat.

A joint IWRC/NWRA committee oversees periodic revisions when significant developments in the science of wildlife rehabilitation are made.  The MSWR has been adopted by the United States Fish & Wildlife who requires adherence to the standards in order to receive and renew federal permits.  Many states and provinces, including California, Michigan, Nova Scotia, and Rhode Island also use the MSWR as a tool for establishing the appropriateness of rehabilitation facilities and policies.

4th Edition MSWR Digital (member only)

4th Edition MSWR Hard Copy

3rd Edition MSWR Digital

3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Lloyd
    Jun 26 2012

    I took my first IWRC class in 1994 after having volunteered at a rehab center for two years. I was amazed at what I learned and was instantly sold on IWRC. For me, the greatest thing about IWRC has always been the professional information available to me. I have always loved having access to others who are doing something similar to me who may have come up with a way of solving a problem that I am facing. I learn from them instead of reinventing the wheel, I use the one they have already developed. Thank you IWRC!

  2. Guylaine Noel
    Jan 20 2014

    I know people who are taking care of a fox. They found the fox when it was a few weeks old, the mother and other babies had been killed on the road. The 9 month old fox is still wild with humans except with the people who found it. They are thinking of having it neutered as they beleive it can’t be released in the wild??? I would like to have your views on this matter. I personally don’t see the benefit in neutering.
    Please share your views and comments.
    Much appreciated!

  3. admin
    Jan 20 2014

    I suggest that they get it to a mammal rehabilitator as soon as possible to be assessed for possibilities of release. We’d be happy to help find someone!

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