Becoming a Provincial Ministry of Natural Resources Authorized Wildlife
Provincial Authorizations for Wildlife Custodians are issued by the Ontario
Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. You need to contact your District MNRF Office and
speak to the Wildlife in Captivity Specialist to obtain more information about
the process. OWREN does not issue Authorizations nor do we conduct
A list of MNRF offices
can be found at the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry website.
Anyone interested in becoming a provincially authorized wildlife custodian
should familiarize themselves with the legislation that governs wildlife
rehabilitation - The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (RSO 1997). Part III,
Section 44 pertains to wildlife rehabilitation. You can read or download a copy
of the Act on the MNRF website.
interest to wildlife rehabilitators are these Regulations:
POSSESSION, BUYING AND SELLING
OF WILDLIFE - O. Reg. 666/98
WILDLIFE IN CAPTIVITY - O. Reg.
is strongly recommended that individuals who want to become Authorized Wildlife
Custodians or who would like to work as MNRF Registered Foster Care Givers for an AWC or
just help out by volunteering at wildlife centres, take a Wildlife Rehabilitation Basic Skills
training course first.
OWREN is the provincial leader in providing this
specialized training through our courses designed for Ontario wildlife
rehabilitators. For more information on our training courses, just click on the
Courses/Conferences tab on the left menu bar or at the bottom of this page.
Those who successfully complete OWREN's Wildlife
Rehabilitation Basic Skills Course, and pass the written exam with a score
of 80% or better are not required to write the Ministry's Ontario Wildlife
Rehabilitation Exam (OWRE). NOTE: Simply passing the course or the
Ministry's OWRE, does not automatically confer a wildlife custodial
authorization on the individual. You must still complete and submit an
application for authorization to the Ministry. Application forms are
available at your local district MNRF office.
Working with Rabies Vector Species in Ontario
Those who wish to work with Rabies Vector
Species (RVS) in Ontario (those species are raccoons, foxes, skunks and
bats) must also take a second course to acquire their RVS authorization.
If you volunteer as a MNR Registered Foster Care Giver and want to provide
this care under the authorization of an existing Authorized Wildlife
Custodian (AWC) but do so off the property of the person holding the AWC,
you MUST take the MNR's RVS home study course. You would study the
materials and then arrange to write the exam at the MNR district office.
You must obtain a passing grade on this exam as well. You do need to
be working under the direction of an AWC to perform this off-site. If
you volunteer at the facility that holds the AWC, it is not necessary for
you to get the RVS authorization.
Additionally, all Registered Foster Care Givers
must be vetted by the AWC under whose permit they will work in order to
provide care for any species of wildlife off-site. These agreements
must be signed and provided to the MNR prior to your taking any wildlife
into your possession. The AWC has a legal obligation to visit and
inspect your home/property to ensure that you are in compliance with the
Conditions of their authorization. This is a requirement. You
will be required to provide a map of your rehabilitation areas along with
your signed Foster Care Giver agreement to the AWC. Before taking any
wildlife into your possession under a Foster Care Giver agreement, the AWC
must have assessed the wildlife first. Once that is done, you can then
take the wild animal home to rehabilitate under their direction.
Federal Wildlife Permits:
Migratory birds are protected under the legal
authority of the Canadian Wildlife Service. An application to permit
you to have these species in your possession for the purposes of wildlife
rehabilitation must be made by you. You will be asked to provide
references and letters recommending the need for your services in your area
along with other supporting documentation.
Contact the Ontario district office directly for
more information on obtaining a federal Migratory Birds permit for
Canadian Wildlife Service
P.O. Box 5050, 867 Lakeshore Road