What We Do


The National Wildlife Centre is a registered charity in Canada with its sole purpose to help native wildlife. We do this through four key areas: (1) emergency preparedness, prevention and response planning, (2) conservation and education; (3) new discovery; and (4) wildlife medicine and rehabilitation

Program activity along with some examples are listed below:

Wildlife Emergency Prevention, Preparedness, and Response

  • Whether an oiling incident or a natural disaster, whether a few animals to hundreds of thousands of animals affected, the emergency prevention, preparedness and response planning section seeks to create a cohesive national plan to support responders, government, scientists, animals and the public.
  • NWC seeks to help plan, prepare, and respond to natural, oil, or other noxious substance emergencies in conjunction with local, national, and international organizations and government.

Conservation & Education

  • Scientists and Oiled Wildlife responders will have a centre for learning, discussion, and hands on training labs regarding how to be prepared and respond to oil incidents if they were called upon by CWS. This training would include understanding management options, including humane euthanasia.
  • Seven out of 8 species of turtles in Ontario are of special concern – some endangered. It takes 20 – 30 years for a snapping turtle to reach sexual maturity. This is one example where we can educate the public, industry supporter, and our students in the importance of conservation
  • Public education focuses primarily on conservation and could include a variety of topics, from co-habitating with urban wildlife to natural habitat and behaviours of native wildlife to how to recognize when an animal is truly orphaned as well as what the public can do to reduce our negative impact on wildlife. Mitigating vehicle-animal impact strategies is an area of importance for many stakeholders: animals, the public and drivers who use the road, insurance companies, and conservation biologists to name a few.
  • Veterinarians to learn more about native wildlife- how to diagnose and treat such animals. This could be in the form of internships, externships, and visiting veterinarians
  • Students – from biology, ecology, conservation, environmental, and veterinary programs will have an opportunity to participate, learn, and gain an appreciation for native wildlife
  • Rehabilitators can received training, regular education seminars on native wildlife, network with one another, and have a home centre within the hospital for the diagnosing and treating of the animals that are in their care.


New Discovery (Research)

  • Clinical medicine knowledge opportunities are vast – by documenting through the maintenance of electronic medical records various clinical signs, treatments, and the results, to epidemiologic studies, we have an opportunity to share new information for many wildlife stakeholders around the world
  • Post release studies and husbandry studies are additional areas where we can share what we learn with responders, the public, and the scientific community.
  • Opportunities to look at the clinical effects of oil on wildlife, petroleum or non-petroleum substances will provide real-life in situ data for scientists.

Wildlife Medicine and Rehabilitation

  • Advanced diagnostics and treatment for sick and injured animals, including orthopedic surgeries, and other advanced modalities in diagnosing and treating wild animals.
  • Rehabilitation for sick, injured, and orphaned animals
  • Medical care and oversight for animals within a network of trained rehabilitators for whom we have the facilities and expertise to provide this service.
  • Rescue and release when the public is unable to safely bring an animal to the centre and requires treatment
  • Oil spill and emergency response centre to provide treatment for animals affected by hazardous noxious substances or affected by other disasters

We will primarily rely on the kind support of donations and grants to ensure operational sustainability. The NWC will be financially self-sustaining.

The National Wildlife Centre (NWC) will be an international leader in wildlife medicine and oiled wildlife planning and response. We will be open 365 days a year and expect more than 10,000 phone calls from the public and approximately 3,000 native wild animals to be admitted for rehabilitation and/or medical diagnostics and treatment every year.

Our reach is global: we expect to host international students, scientists, and oiled wildlife responders, and rehabilitators around the globe to learn and share best and create new practices for the betterment of native wildlife.

If you are an authorized wildlife rehabilitator, we are here to help you, help wildlife. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our wildlife veterinary healthcare team at any time.

We are also able to perform surgeries for you in our veterinary hospital, and care for the patients in an ICU setting until they are stable to be returned to you to complete their rehabilitation process with the intent to be released back into the wild.

If you are seeking additional training, please check our Training and Education page!