About WRI

Discover who we are and what we do

We envision a world where people recognise both the intrinsic value of wildlife and that protecting biodiversity is fundamental to life on earth

Our mission is to promote and advance wildlife rehabilitation, welfare and protection


  • Provide educational and training opportunities
  • Rehabilitate injured and orphaned wildlife
  • Establish a Wildlife Rehabilitation & Teaching Hospital
  • Facilitate wildlife monitoring and research
  • Offer assistance to wildlife rehabilitators
  • Identify and reduce threats to wildlife


Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland in a non governmental organisation, a company limited by guarantee not having a share capital. Registered in Dublin, Ireland. Office: 10 High Meadows, Duleek, Co Meath. Company No. 555237 | Chy No. 20991 | Registered Charity No. 20142551


Where we came from

The wildlife situation in Ireland is unusual and unfortunate in so far as there is no single organisation representing all types of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. There are various individuals and a few organisations around the country that either rescue specific species or rehabilitate whatever casualties come their way. These individuals receive no financial support and had no support network among themselves.

There was therefore a great need and opportunity to develop a more coordinated approach to, and a higher profile for wildlife and wildlife rehabilitation in Ireland. Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland (WRI) was established to do just this.



WRI is a member of the Irish Environmental Network (IEN) and through the IEN receives core funding from the Department of Communication Climate Action and Environment.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland (WRI) is a pioneering organisation dedicated to the advocacy, education, and support of wildlife rehabilitation efforts across Ireland. We work with a network of veterinary and wildlife professionals, and rehabilitation centres to offer support and training to ensure that injured, sick, and orphaned wildlife receive the high quality of specialist care they deserve. Our mission is rooted in a deep respect for nature and a commitment to the conservation of Ireland’s diverse wildlife species.

WRI is focused on promoting the welfare and conservation of wildlife through rehabilitation, education, and advocacy. We work towards creating a future where humans and wildlife coexist in harmony, and where every injured or orphaned wild animal has access to high-quality care and rehabilitation.

What We Do

  • Training and Education: WRI offers professional development opportunities for those involved in wildlife care, including rehabilitators, veterinary professionals, and the general public. Our comprehensive training programmes, workshops, and educational resources aim to raise the standard of wildlife rehabilitation nationwide.
  • Public Engagement and Awareness: Through targeted campaigns, outreach programs, and online platforms, we strive to enhance public awareness about the challenges facing Ireland’s wildlife. We empower individuals and communities to make a positive impact, promoting coexistence and encouraging responsible behaviour towards wildlife.
  • Advocacy for Wildlife Protection: We advocate for the protection and conservation of wildlife through collaboration with governmental and non-governmental organisations, and participation in conservation projects. Our efforts are aimed at ensuring a safe and thriving environment for Ireland’s native species.
  • Support for Wildlife Rehabilitation: We offer support to the network of wildlife rehabilitators across Ireland.
  • Emergency Wildlife Care: Through our websites, online resources and network of partners, we offer advice and coordinate with local rehabilitators and veterinary clinics to provide assistance to wildlife in distress as and when we can.

Get Involved
There are many ways to support WRI and contribute to wildlife conservation in Ireland. Volunteers, donations, and public engagement are crucial to our operations and help us continue our work. Whether you’re interested in becoming a wildlife rehabilitator, supporting our educational initiatives, or helping spread awareness about wildlife conservation, your involvement can make a significant difference.

Join Our Mission
Become a part of our community dedicated to the welfare and conservation of Ireland’s wildlife. Together, we can ensure a brighter, more sustainable future for all species that call our island home. Join our mailing list to find out what we’re up to and how to get involved.


Creation of Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland website

WRI has developed a website which offers rehabilitation guidelines, wildlife career options, publications and further education – all of which aim to facilitate individuals actively involved in rehabilitation and/or conservation.
Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland’s website can be accessed at www.wri.ie

Irish Wildlife Matters website

WRI produced the wildlife first aid website ‘Irish Wildlife Matters’ (IWM) which was launched in May 2010. Its purpose is to address the lack of easily accessible information on Irish wildlife rescue and first aid. IWM provides an easily accessible, online overview of the rescue methods, medical treatment, rehabilitation and release procedures for the most commonly seen species of Irish wildlife casualties.
Irish Wildlife Matters website can be accessed at www.irishwildlifematters.ie

IWM website

Irish Wildlife Rehabilitation Conferences

In 2010 WRI ran the first Wildlife Rehabilitation Conference in Ireland. The conference brought together speakers from countries more advanced in their wildlife management for talks and practical sessions. The Conference generated huge interest and positive feedback. Following the success of the 2010 conference WRI hosted a wildlife conference in 2011, 2012, and an even more popular Wildlife Crime Conference in 2013 and 2015.
You can view past and upcoming Conferences at http://wri.ie/conferences/

IWM website
IWM website

Irish Wildlife Crime Conferences

The inaugural 2013 Wildlife Crime Conference was convened to discuss wildlife crime in a comprehensive all-island context and, as a result, proved to be a historic milestone in Irish wildlife protection. It provided a unique opportunity for government agencies, NGOs, professional bodies, voluntary groups and individuals to share their experience and expertise in this field. The conference was enthusiastically received by all sectors of wildlife protection in Ireland. In September 2015 WRI hosted the second Irish Wildlife Crime Conference.
We believe that wildlife protection throughout Ireland can be most effectively implemented through collaboration, communication and cooperation at all levels. The 2015 Wildlife Crime Conference consolidated and enhanced the effective and cordial working partnerships established to date.
You can view past and upcoming Conferences at http://wri.ie/conferences/

IWM website

IWRC’s ‘Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation Course’

The International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC) is the leading developer of professional training for wildlife care providers internationally. In 2011 the IWRC teamed up with WRI to provide a unique opportunity for Irish people to participate in the IWRC’s Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation Course. The training course concentrated specifically on the theory and practice of wildlife rehab.
The 2011 Course was so successful that we wanted to offer it on a regular basis in Ireland so with the IWRC’s assistance we now have an Irish IWRC Instructor. Since 2011 WRI have run these Courses regularly throughout the years.
The Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation Course details can be accessed at Here


Wild Schools Resource

Wild Schools is a collaboration between WRI, experts in education and graphic designers. With a diverse range of tips and activities Wild Schools is designed to educate second level students about various aspects of wildlife, including species information, habitats, human-wildlife conflict, quizzes, audio visuals and engaging projects to name a few. Now available on http://www.scoilnet.ie

Post Release Monitoring – Rehabilitated Pine Martens

Hundreds of rehabilitated wildlife casualties and orphans are released back to the wild each year. Release is often considered to be the measure of success and yet very little is known about the post-release survival of rehabilitated wildlife.
This pine marten project in June 2012 was to monitor the post-release survival of two rehabilitated pine martens. This was Ireland’s first ever post-release monitoring project of a rehabilitated wildlife species using radio telemetry. The project was a huge success and generated lots of media interest.
The pine marten project is on WRI’s website at www.wri.ie/pages/News-pinemarten 

IWM website

Otter rehabilitation and release project

In autumn 2012 WRI facilitated the return and soft release of an Irish otter that was rehabilitated in Scotland at the International Otter Survival Fund’s (IOSF) facilities on the Isle of Skye.
The otter cub was found as an orphan in Co Donegal and there was no rehabilitation facility in Ireland that had otter cubs undergoing rehabilitation at that time. The tremendous effort, dedication and co-ordination of people and organisations both in Ireland and Scotland led to the otter being successfully released back into the wild in a remote location in Glenveagh National Park, Co Donegal.
Shannon’s story is on WRI’s website at http://wri.ie/otters-return-to-donegal-after-rehabilitation-in-scotland/

IWM website

Post Release Monitoring – Swan ringing project

A testament to the beneficial effect of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Conferences is the enthusiasm and inspiration they generate in people. Dan is one example of this; he is a wildlife rehabilitator from Kildare who approached WRI in 2013 for assistance with a post release monitoring project proposal. Dan frequently takes in swans for rehabilitation and wanted to monitor their progress after their release. The swans are mainly from the locality and there are many dedicated local ornithologists willing to look out for, and report swan sightings.
With assistance and cooperation from Birdwatch Ireland, WRI assisted Dan in his tagging initiative. He now has a registered bird ringer who comes and visits his facility to tag each swan before it is released.

IWM website

Data Collection – Wildlife Health Survey – vets

In 2013 WRI carried out the first Irish Wildlife Health Survey with the help of veterinary practices throughout Ireland. The survey formed part of ongoing research into wildlife health, in conjunction with academic institutions and voluntary organisations, and provided significant data to allow for a better picture of any emerging infectious diseases which could have potential disastrous consequences for animal production and wildlife in Ireland.
In June 2014 the survey was published in the Veterinary Ireland Journal, a link can be found from WRI’s website at www.wri.ie/surveys

IWM website

Data Collection – Wildlife Casualty Survey – rehabilitators

Additionally in 2013, WRI conducted the first survey amongst wildlife rehabilitators in Ireland to ascertain the quantity of casualties they have cared for, the conditions they suffered from, and the outcome of these cases.
This survey data, in conjunction with the Wildlife Health Survey data from the veterinary profession, provided the first detailed information available on wildlife casualties in Ireland. The figures backed up WRI assertions that the numbers of wildlife casualties rehabilitated is far higher than figures obtained by the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), which in turn has initiated talks between WRI and the NPWS regarding a pilot ‘Annual Rehabilitation Licence’ project.

IWM website

Wildlife inclusion in the veterinary curriculum

In October 2015 WRI delivered a teaching session on wildlife rescue and first aid to sixty veterinary students. This was the first time that wildlife has featured as an option in the veterinary curriculum in University College Dublin, and it now looks set to become a regular part of the exotics electives for UCD students.

Wildlife Rehabilitation and the ‘One Health’ concept

Biodiversity is an integral part of human wellbeing and physical health. By removing species’ habitats or exploiting natural resources, humans create more situations for incidental wildlife interactions as society pushes further into natural environments.  The food we grow, the landscapes we love and the air we breathe all depend on biodiversity.

The concept of One Health is the unity of multiple practices that work together locally, nationally, and globally to help achieve optimal health for people, animals, and the environment.

At WRI our aim is to make wildlife healthy.  Wildlife rehabilitation supports the One Health initiative by contributing to the health and balance of ecosystems, which benefits all species, including humans, and underscores the interdependence of our health on the health of the wildlife and environments we share.

Wildlife Rehabilitation & Teaching Hospital  & Nature Education Centre

The majority of people are unaware that there is no national organisation in Ireland with responsibility for the rescue and rehabilitation of wildlife. Current provision is met by a small number of individuals and organisations in the voluntary sector that rescue/rehabilitate wildlife casualties. However, they are under resourced in terms of money, facilities and veterinary support and information sharing/networking has been poor.

Many other countries have a nationally coordinated approach to wildlife management and have an organisation that acts to provide this coordination. Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland (WRI) was established in 2010, with the aim of working for the general advancement of wildlife protection and rehabilitation in Ireland and to provide a hub to coordinate communication expertise and share expertise within the wildlife protection and conservation sector.

As the public profile of wildlife rescue and rehabilitation rises, so too does the number of wildlife casualties brought to small independent wildlife centres. There is now extreme financial pressure on these individuals given increased demands on increasingly inadequate resources. In addition, there are countless valuable research and educational opportunities being missed due to lack of resources.

The combination of circumstances demands the establishment of a self-sustaining Wildlife Hospital in order to offer Irish wildlife and Irish society the opportunity to mutually benefit from a solution to this currently unsustainable situation.

At the heart of the Wildlife Hospital project is the social enterprise partnership (SEP) theme; the Wildlife Hospital will be run as a SEP, and as such WRI has formed relationships with organisations that empower young people and at-risk groups in society, who could also benefit from the creation of this Hospital and who wish to form a social partnership with WRI.

WRI believes that social partnership is an extremely valuable aspect to this project and will be extremely rewarding for all participating organisations; volunteering with animals in a natural setting has been proven to significantly promote social, economic, psychological, spiritual and physical wellbeing. This project, the first of its kind in the Republic of Ireland, will offer these young people the opportunity to care for injured animals in return for their own educational advancement and personal development.

The new Wildlife Hospital will:

  • Have the facility, expertise and capacity to care for and rehabilitate all native wildlife species
  • Include a visitor centre and teaching facility comprising; exhibition area, classrooms and conference space
  • Provide on-site education and training for interns, volunteers, and social partner clients


WRI built and operated an emergency interim Wildlife Hospital for 10 months in 2021 but is currently seeking a permanent home for this exciting, new and innovative facility.