Standards in Wildlife Rehabilitation

The US National Wildlife Rehabilitation Association (NWRA)  and The International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC) have jointly published the industry standard in rehabilitation management since 1989. The 3rd edition is no longer available from IWRC.

Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation, 4th edition, is based on accepted norms in biology, medicine, behavior, natural history, and, of course, wildlife rehabilitation. The information in the publication pertains to all who rehabilitate wildlife, regardless of numbers and types of wildlife cared for, budget size, number of paid or volunteer staff, and size and location of activity. To purchase a hard copy of Standards for $15.00, plus shipping and handling, click here.

This publication was reviewed and updated by experienced wildlife rehabilitators and provides useful information on appropriate cage sizes, disinfectants, and cage furniture while caring for wildlife undergoing rehabilitation. This 116-page book is available as a free download to all IWRC members or for purchase through NWRA or IWRC for $15.00.

IWRC members can download the 4th edition (2012) under the member only page Minimum Standards and Position Statements. All are welcome to purchase a physical copy of the 4th edition from our store.

For differences between the 3rd and 4th editions see this useful PDF from NWRA.

Position Statements

IWRC has begun creating position statements on current issues involving wildlife rehabilitation. These statements are meant to compliment the Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation and provide useful information for policy makers and individual rehabilitators.

Legal Framework for Wildlife Rehabilitation

Feral Cats and Dogs

Lead statement

Wildlife Legislation in Different Countries

In order to become a wildlife rehabilitator, licensing and permits are required in most countries. Every state and province has different regulations depending on the species of animal you wish to care for, and the type of activities you plan to do:

Imagemap alt North America Europe South America Africa Australia and South Pacific Asia imgmap2013521144347-6