Training and Resources

close-up of tortoise on dry vegetation

A wildlife rehabilitator serves an important and unique role by (1) ensuring the highest standards of humane care and treatment of sick, injured, and orphaned native wildlife for the purpose of their release to suitable habitat in the wild; and (2) providing wildlife conservation education and outreach to diverse local communities.

Professional Associations

For wildlife rehabilitation in California to reach its full potential, the department strives to ensure (1) a deeper understanding and appreciation of the ethical standards and expertise maintained by professional wildlife rehabilitators, their dedicated staff and volunteers; (2) compliance with all laws and permit conditions; (3) elimination of mal-imprinted and habituated rehabilitation animals; and (4) humane euthanasia is provided without hesitation or delay, as appropriate. Current and prospective wildlife rehabilitation professionals, as well as any person interested in learning more about wildlife rehabilitation, can stay informed of current information, methods, and techniques by joining a professional association or organization dedicated to serving wildlife rehabilitation practitioners.

Continuing Education

Staying current with best practices, accepted techniques, and the latest advancements in wildlife rehabilitation is critical for most wildlife rehabilitators. In California, wildlife rehabilitators must complete continuing education each year. Each wildlife rehabilitator has unique needs, based on various factors, and must determine the continuing education that is most beneficial to them and their facility. CDFW supports various options for continuing education that may include CDFW and external training opportunities. Contact CDFW at for more information.

Wildlife Health Lab
1701 Nimbus Road Suite D, Rancho Cordova, CA 95670
(916) 358-2790 |