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Origins of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation Historical development and current structure of UK wildlife rehabilitation P re- 1970’s Before the 1970s there was little or no organised wildlife rehabilitation in the UK.

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origins of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation

Origins of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation

Historical development and current structure of UK wildlife rehabilitation

British Wildlife Rehabilitation Council 2008

p re 1970 s
Pre- 1970’s
  • Before the 1970s there was little or no organised wildlife rehabilitation in the UK.
  • Caring individuals would attempt to rear abandoned youngsters, or nurse injured animals, without:
    • committed veterinary support
    • knowledge of species biology or ecology
rehabilitation centres appear
Rehabilitation centres appear

In the 1970s charities suchasSt Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital and the National Seal Sanctuary began to emerge.

( ).

wildlife rehabilitation today
Wildlife Rehabilitation Today
  • There are now approximately 650 centres in the UK

(Leighton, K. et. al., 2008)

  • These treat more than 300,000 casualties each year (Molony, S. et. al., 2007).
  • The largest of these is the R.S.P.C.A which has four wildlife rescue centres:
    • West Hatch Wildlife Centre, Somerset
    • RSPCA Norfolk Wildlife Hospital, East Winch
    • Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre, Cheshire
    • Mallydams Wood in East Sussex

wildlife rehabilitation today5
Wildlife Rehabilitation Today
  • Many wildlife rescue centres across the UK but limited co-ordination or cooperation.
  • No ongoing formal collection of UK-wide casualty information
  • Research into wildlife rehabilitation tends to be small scale due to the difficulty in raising money
  • No money to be made from wildlife rehabilitation, so very little investment of money from ‘industry’
  • Increasing research into the impacts of wildlife rehabilitation on animal welfare and ecology from university biology departments in recent years.

(Summaries of scientific papers concerning wildlife rehabilitation can be found on the BWRC website - - ‘Scientific Journals made easy’).

british wildlife rehabilitation council
British Wildlife Rehabilitation Council
  • representatives of various organisations formed the BWRC in 1987 - a charity aiming to:
    • Improve the welfare of wild casualties in captivity
    • Promote collaboration and research into rehabilitation techniques
    • Provide training and information for rehabilitators and education for the general public
british wildlife rehabilitation coalition
British Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition
  • BWRC has joined with Lower Moss Wood Wildlife Hospital (Cheshire) and the International Otter Survival Fund (Isle of Skye, Scotland) to form a coalition.
  • The three organisations take turns to run an annual wildlife rehabilitation conference in rotating venues in the UK.
  • For more information see BWRC website .
european wildlife rehabilitators association
European Wildlife Rehabilitators Association
  • EWRA set up and run by St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital
  • Advice facility for UK and Europe
  • Over 200 members work to a set Code of Practice.
  • Dealing with 50,000 casualties in a network of rescue centres across Europe.
national wildlife rehabilitators association
National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association
  • US-based organisation, incorporated in 1982
  • Now approx. 2000 members world-wide, treated well over 100,000 casualties in 2002
  • “dedicated to improving and promoting the profession of wildlife rehabilitation and its contributions to preserving natural ecosystems”
international wildlife rehabilitation council
International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council
  • The (US based) International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council aims “to support wildlife and provide resources for wildlife rehabilitators”.
  • The IWRC has published its Journal of Wildlife Rehabilitation since 1978.
  • Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator ™ programme – exam-based qualification awarded by IWRC
  • New resources are emerging such as ‘WILDPro – an internet based ‘electronic encyclopaedia and library for wildlife’.
  • The internet database is accessible via institutional membership, or non-members can purchase subject-specific CD-ROMs.
  • Leighton, K. et. al., (2008) Post-release survival of hand-reared tawny owls (Strix aluco) based on radio tracking and leg-band return data. Animal Welfare 17:207-214.
  • Molony, S. et. al., (2007) Factors that can be used to predict release rates for wildlife casualties. Animal Welfare 16: 361-367.