Wildlife rehabilitation is considered a specialised activity involving the capture, handling, treatment, release and at times euthanasia of sick, injured or orphaned native animals.
New South Wales has an active network of volunteer wildlife rehabilitation providers who are authorised under a wildlife rehabilitation licence to rescue and rehabilitate sick, injured or orphaned native animals.
These groups have an important role in the community in:
- relieving the suffering of individual animals by providing appropriate medical treatment and care
- fostering an understanding of native animals and the natural environment within the wider community
- broadening our knowledge of wildlife biology and the threats facing particular species
- conserving wildlife populations by successfully returning healthy animals to their natural habitat.
Some licensed wildlife rehabilitation providers specialise in specific native species, such as koalas, flying-foxes or marine wildlife, whereas others cover a wide range of species.
The NSW Wildlife Council is the peak body for licensed wildlife rehabilitators in New South Wales.
Veterinarians also have relevant knowledge and experience in treating native animal species.