How to get involved in wildlife rehabilitation

Working with injured, sick and orphaned protected animals can be very rewarding, but you must first join a licensed wildlife rehabilitation provider.

If you want to rehabilitate protected animals, the first step is to join your local wildlife rehabilitation provider, which holds a Biodiversity Conservation Licence under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.

Once you have joined your local provider, you can attend training and learn about the responsibilities of a rehabilitator and basic rescue and immediate care techniques. When you have successfully completed the course, you will be issued with a written authority, which will allow you to operate under the terms of your provider's native wildlife rehabilitation licence, which includes compliance with our codes of practice. You must work with your group's mentors, species coordinators, and local veterinary practice. They have the skill and experience to help you properly rescue and care for the sick and injured native animals you have been entrusted with. If you do not intend to work with animals directly, you may be able to help your group in other ways.

Some native species are particularly difficult to rehabilitate successfully and require specialist facilities and equipment. For example, some species, such as birds of prey (raptors), may be cared for by group members provided they can meet strict training and aviary requirements.

Other species, such as marine mammals (seals and dolphins), can only be housed in facilities licensed under the Exhibited Animals Protection Act 1986, such as zoos and aquaria. Find out more about getting involved in marine wildlife rescue.