Helpful Resources for Wildlife Rehabilitators


The following is a list of resources from which candidates can acquire information on the thirteen topics covered in the exam. This list is not intended to be comprehensive, nor does the listing of an organization or publication imply a recommendation by the certification body. This list is simply a starting point from which candidates may compile their own study materials.

Written Materials

The following publications, listed in alphabetical order, address one or more of the twelve topics covered in the certification exam. Some titles may be available at public or university libraries.

Any Undergraduate Level Ecology Text

Wildlife Rehabiiitation: A comprehensive approach, International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council

This comprehensive manual covers rehabilitation methods and techniques from capture to release. Basic animal physiology, treatments and medications, nutrition, and husbandry are covered for mammals, birds, and reptiles. Also included are nutrition and housing charts which can aid the rehabilitator in determining how to care for and raise wildlife. International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, 2017.  425pp.  SKU: 01u3100000yKhZT

Field Guides

Field guides are useful for understanding form and function and may be helpful regarding specifics of classification, ranges, habitat, and abundance. Various publishers offer field guides to mammals, birds and herptiles.  However you will not need any specific field guides in preparing for or taking the certification exam.

Initial Wildlife Care (3rd edition), Helene van Doninck, DVM, with contributions from Jan White, Sandra Emanuelson, and Louise Shimmel.  Revised by Renee Schott

Topics covered include: intake procedures, basic physical examinations, emergency assessment and triage, basic shock cycle, wound care, nutrition for initial care, thermoregulation, use of pain medication in wildlife. International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, 2011 45pp.  SKU: 01ui000000iRxfu

Living with Wildlife, Diana Landau and Shelley Stump

LWW identifies and describes more than 100 North American species, explains how wildlife-human interactions can lead to conflicts, and offers proven advice for how to resolve them. Sierra Club Books, 1994.  341pp. ISBN: 0871565471

Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation (4th edition)

An NWRA/IWRC cooperative project, this book reviews such topics as basic housing requirements for mammals and birds, euthanasia standards, and disease transmission. National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association and International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, 2012. 116pp. SKU: 01ui000000iRxfQ

Practical Wildlife Care (2nd edition), Les Stocker, St. Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital, UK

Describes how to handle and provide first aid, how to feed and release, and many other disciplines not featured in veterinary or nursing training. Includes more than 150 photographs and covers a wide range of species including birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians.  Blackwell Publishing, 2005. 352pp.  ISBN: 9781405127493

Principles of Wildlife Rehabilitation (2nd edition), A. T. Moore & S. Joosten

This manual provides information on getting started, admitting patients, veterinary topics, animal handling and care techniques, general nutrition, release, and more. National Wildlife Rehabilitation Association, 2002. 667pp.  ISBN:  9780970389107

Wild Neighbors: The humane approach to living with wildlife (2nd edition), The Humane Society of the U.S.

Packed with detailed humane “how-to” solutions, this user-friendly guide assists people who are confronted with the problems caused by human-wildlife conflicts around homes and buildings. Fulcrum Publishing, 2007. 283pp.  ISBN:  9780974840086

Wildlife Feeding and Nutrition (2nd edition), Astrid MacLeod and Janine Perlman, PhD

Topics covered include: dietary patterns, nutrients, digestion, feeding captive adult wildlife, energy requirements, principles of formulating diets, feeding neonate and juvenile animals, emaciation, malnutrition and enrichment. International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, 2004. 91pp.  SKU: 01ui000000iRzcg

Wildlife Ecology and Management (5th edition)Bolen and Robinson 

Topics covered include predators, urban wildlife, policy, water, soil, diseases, conservation biology, the removal of dams, global warming, emerging diseases among elk and deer, adaptive harvest management, animal rights groups, women hunters, population data, migratory animals and more.  2002.  634pp. ISBN 978-0130662507

Wildlife Ecology, Conservation and Management (3rd edition)Fryxell, Sinclair, and Caughley

The first half of the book provides a solid background in key ecological concepts. The second half uses these concepts to develop a deeper understanding of the principles underlying wildlife management and conservation. Global examples of real-life management situations provide a broad perspective on the international problems of conservation, and detailed case histories demonstrate concepts and quantitative analyses.  2014.  528pp. ISBN 978-1118291078

BSAVA Manual of Wildlife CasualtiesMullineaux and Keeble (Editors)

Topics include capture, handling and transportation; triage and decision–making; first aid and emergency care; wildlife anaesthesia; management in captivity; care and hand–rearing of young animals; and investigation of wildlife crime, wild mammals, birds, amphibians and reptiles encountered in the UK giving detail on: ecology and biology; anatomy and physiology; capture, handling and transportation; examination and clinical assessment for rehabilitation; first aid and short–term hospitalization; anaesthesia and analgesia; specific conditions; therapeutics; management in captivity; rearing of neonates and juveniles; release; and legal aspects.  2017.  488pp. ISBN: 9781905319800

Wildlife Search and Rescue:  A Guide for First Responders, Dmytryk, Rebecca

Topics include safe and successful capture strategies, handling and restraint techniques and initial aid.  2012.  228pp.  ISBN: 9780470655115

Answering the Call of the Wild: A Hotline Operator’s Guide to Help People and Wildlife, Luther, Erin

Topics include locating help for an animal in need, sick injured, and orphaned animals, wildlife capture, distressed and trapped animals, conflict situations, wildlife and pets, public health safety, wildlife and domestic identification, and species specific hotline information.  2010.  503pp.  ISBN: 9780981117003


The following organizations, listed in alphabetical order, offer a variety of classes, conferences and other training materials that individuals preparing for the exam may find helpful. Any explanatory text used below was taken from the organization’s website at the time this resource list was created.  The certification body will attempt to keep the list up-to-date, but candidates should be aware that offerings may change over time.

British Wildlife Rehabilitation Council

The BWRC organizes annual symposiums and regional workshops.


Humane Society of the United States—Humane Society University

Through training and education, HSU provides animal care and control professionals and other animal advocates with the skills to maximize their ability to help animals.


International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council

IWRC training courses are developed and peer-reviewed by professionals who excel in their fields. Courses are available in both traditional classroom settings and online. IWRC hosts an annual wildlife rehabilitation/training conference.


National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association

NWRA hosts an annual conference consisting of four days of concurrent sessions and seven different hands-on labs with limited enrollment to provide for high quality experiential learning.


St. Tiggywinkles

Europe’s only wildlife teaching hospital also offers an introductory course in wildlife care.


Wild Again

WildAgain supports wildlife and the wildlife rehabilitation community through research, publications, training, working with government agencies, and consulting services.


Wildlife Center of Virginia

WCV hosts introductory wildlife rehabilitation training classes offered at locations across Virginia and hosts an annual “Call of the Wild” conference designed specifically for rehabilitators and other wildlife “first responders”.


Wildlife Health Australian

Information on wildlife rehabilitation resources in Australia.


General Organizations and Institutions

Community Colleges and Universities

Check in your local educational offerings—many organizations provide classes on topics related to wildlife rehabilitation, although few offer actual rehabilitation training. Look for classes at universities, community colleges, continuing education programs, adult learning programs, and the agricultural extension service.

Local/Regional Wildlife Rehabilitation Organizations

Check in your own community—many state and regional rehabilitation organizations offer training classes and/or conferences.

Master Naturalist Program

Many states now offer a Master Naturalist program through which volunteers are trained to provide education, outreach, and service dedicated to the beneficial management of natural resources and natural areas within their communities. Some classes offered, while not focused on wildlife rehabilitation, may be beneficial to rehabilitators.