What is involved?

Our organisation is always looking for more volunteers to ease the burden on our existing wildlife rehabilitators who care for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife in the South-east Queensland region.

Although wildlife rehabilitation can be a very enjoyable and rewarding experience, we must remember that the welfare of the animal is of the upmost priority.

The aim of the wildlife rehabilitator should be to rehabilitate the animal or raise it to a state of maturity such that it can be safely and successfully released back into its natural environment.

We must always remember that they are wild animals and need to be treated as such. Although it might be fun for us to have a “pet” wild animal, it is not fair to the WILDlife – we must always remember that they are wild and they must be able to be returned to the wild. It is important to also note that the holding/taking of wild animals without approval is against the law.

To provide for the animal’s physical and psychological needs the rehabilitator must have appropriate training, adequate time, suitable facilities and be prepared to meet all the costs incurred, such as for food, housing and some veterinary expenses.

Volunteers must be 18 years and older to rescue and rehabilitate sick, injured and orphaned wildlife in their own right.  Wildcare’s insurance cover and State legislation restricts children from having direct physical interaction with injured wildlife.  Whilst we recognise the importance of teaching children and nurturing their appreciation of our native wildlife, we need to ensure compliance with all legal guidelines.   We do have many family members who undertake their wildlife activities as a family and children are still able to assist in many ways in a supervised manner.  More information regarding the involvement of children can be found in our Volunteer Manual and is discussed at the Wildcare training workshops.

Download our electronic copy of an Information Booklet which we have put together which provides you with information that will assist you to determine if wildlife rehabilitation is for you.

Information Booklet – Download

 

What type of equipment do I need?

As a wildlife rehabilitator you will need some basic equipment to enable you to rescue sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. A number of these items can be easily found around the house.

Basic equipment that you will need to get started includes:-

  • Gloves (disposable and leather rigger-style gloves)
  • Cardboard boxes of various sizes
  • Clean towels
  • Torch
  • Hot water bottle
  • Scissors
  • Blanket
  • Glucodin powder (you can purchase this from the supermarket or chemist for about $5)

As you become more experienced, you will find that you will add other items to your “rescue kit” including:-

  • Pet carrier or cage
  • Net for catching birds
  • Syringes (for feeding)
  • Tweezers
  • Thermometer
  • Electronic kitchen scales
  • Coloured globes (red or blue) 25 and 40 watts

Once you have worked out which species you wish to care for, you will need to then look at building or acquiring appropriate facilities to house them.

This might include cages, aviaries or yards for the specific type of animal that you are going to care for. Aviaries and large cages should be set up with branches, both fixed and movable, for climbing and should be snake and rat proof.

You will need to obtain daily access to a natural food source such as native trees and shrubs.

I’m ready… what now?

Once you have decided that you would like to become actively involved with WILDCARE as a wildlife rehabilitator, we suggest that you:-

  • Either complete the online membership application, or download the Membership Application Form, complete and return it to the Membership Secretary (membership@wildcare.org.au)
  • The Membership Secretary will process your membership and will send out your membership card in the mail.  You will receive a confirmation email with links to our Volunteer Manual and other useful resources.
  • Read through the Volunteer Manual and then check the Education Calendar for the next Orientation Program and Rescue and First Aid for Wildlife workshops to be held near you.
  • Register for these initial training workshops by emailing education@wildcare.org.au
  • Attend the initial training workshops and you are on your way!

You should then give consideration to which species you are able to care for and attend the appropriate training course for that species. Our experienced volunteers can give you some information on helping you decide which species would suit your lifestyle.

Once you have completed initial training, you are given the option of being included on our Rescue List.

What if I’m not ready to be actively involved?

If you do not wish to be actively involved with the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife, there is no requirement for you to attend the Orientation Program. You should however, still read the Volunteer Manual so that you are familiar with the way in which WILDCARE operates.

You are still welcome to attend the other training workshops free of charge.

Can I still care for wildlife if I work?

Yes, it can be done! Many of our volunteers work full-time and manage to juggle both commitments. It can be a little challenging sometimes but there are many ways that you can get involved with wildlife caring. The other consideration is that some animals require less commitment than others. There is always something that you can care for. Even just rescuing animals when you can and taking them to another volunteer or a vet is a tremendous help to our wildlife

Where do I get more information?

There is an extensive amount of information contained in the Volunteer Manual which you will receive upon joining.

If you have any specific questions regarding becoming a wildlife carer, please feel free to contact us by email at enquiries@wildcare.org.au or telephone one our volunteers on 07 5527 2444.

There are also a large number of excellent books that have been produced that are a great reference source for wildlife rehabilitators. A copy of our Useful Book List is available for you to download in the Carer Resources section.