A History of Improving Wildlife Care Worldwide
The International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC) was founded in 1972 in California by a group of individuals concerned about the care and conservation of native wildlife. Due in part to the intense urban growth and loss of native habitat the United States experienced in the 1970’s, more people were coming into contact with wild animals in distress.
In response, formal wildlife rehabilitation programs began forming. While the number of wildlife rehabilitation facilities in the United States was growing, a lack of clear, professional standards of care and support networks resulted in these programs operating in an isolated manner, with methods based primarily on trial and error. IWRC founders sought to create a professional association where wildlife rehabilitators could access reliable, science-based and up-to-date information and share resources to help improve the quality of care provided to injured wild animals. Since the organization was created, IWRC has supported an estimated 16,000 wildlife rehabilitators with training and resources.