What is Wildlife Rehabilitation?
Wildlife rehabilitation involves caring for sick, injured, or orphaned native wild animals with the goal of returning them to the wild.
Great care must be taken to ensure that the animals receive proper treatment, so upon release they are physically, psychologically, and behaviorally fit.
Wildlife rehabilitators are individuals licensed by the State of Iowa to care for wild animals native to Iowa. The federal government issues the license for rehabilitators who care for migratory birds. Some rehabilitators work for rehabilitation centers, but most work out of their own homes.
BHWRP Wildlife rehabilitation is governed by the State and Federal Governments. Rehabilitators must have a license and be accountable for their activity with wildlife.
To become a rehabilitator one must first talk with his or her county conservation officer. If approved, the individual must then find an active, licensed rehabilitator to apprentice with and apply for an apprentice license with the state. The forms for this license are found on the DNR web site.
The apprenticeship will last one or more years depending on the experience of the rehabilitator the apprentice works with and the amount of rehabilitation done.
Each rehabilitator is required to keep records of the animals he or she works with. At the end of the year the State of Iowa requires a written report. At some point during this process the County Conservation Officer may visit the facilities.
An individual is required to have a state permit before applying for a federal permit.