Explore Wildlife Rehabilitation
Grade Level: 9th - 12th; Type: Life Science
- What types of animals are found in wildlife rehabilitation centers?
- What permits are needed to be a wildlife rehabilitator? Are there any other state or federal laws that apply to wildlife rehabilitation?
- What education and experience is needed to be a wildlife rehabilitator?
- Why do animals end up in a wildlife rehabilitation centers?
- What happens to an animal from the intake to release stages while at a center?
- Are there differences in the care of different species?
- What does it cost to rehabilitate a wild animal?
Thousands of birds, mammals and reptiles are injured due to human activity and cared for by wildlife rehabilitators every year. The process of diagnosing, treating and releasing a wild animal takes a unique set of skills and resources. By visiting a local wildlife rehabilitation center, students can learn about this process, the animals that need care and present their findings to educate others.
- Local wildlife rehabilitation center
- Display board
- Examples of tools used during wildlife rehabilitation can be made for demonstration or borrowed from a local center (for example, medical records, “donuts”, feeding tools, different foods)
- X-rays of animals can be borrowed from local centers
- Conduct background research on the topic of wildlife rehabilitation
- Contact a local wildlife rehabilitation center to schedule a tour and interview staff and/or volunteers
- Attend a local wildlife rehabilitation center’s volunteer organization
- Offer to volunteer your time at the wildlife rehabilitation center – this may be dependent on any age restrictions the center has
- Wildlife Rehabilitation – the act of caring for, and treating, injured and sick native wild animals with the intention of rereleasing the animal back into its native habitat
- Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 – Treaty between the U.S., Canada and other countries that protects native birds making it illegal in part to “pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, attempt to take, capture or kill, possess,. . . for the protection of migratory birds . . . or any part, nest, or egg of any such bird." (16 U.S.C. 703)
- U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – the federal agency responsible for enforcing federal laws regarding wildlife
- State Department of Fish and Game (or Game and Fish) – the local state agency responsible for enforcing state laws and regulations regarding wildlife
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918 http://www.fws.gov/laws/lawsdigest/migtrea.html
International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council http://www.iwrc-online.org
National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association http://www.nwrawildlife.org
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