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Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit and Basic Skills Course

For more information regarding the Wildlife Rehabilitation Program please contact the LDWF Wildlife Permits Office at or 225.765.2975

LDWF’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit Program regulates the rehabilitation of injured and/or orphaned wildlife in Louisiana. The goal of the program is to place injured and/or orphaned wildlife in the temporary care of permitted wildlife rehabilitators until the animals can be successfully returned to the wild.

You must have a Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit to rehabilitate wildlife in Louisiana. To obtain a permit, you must have knowledge of wildlife behavior, habitat, diet, and other species-specific needs. You must possess and demonstrate the skills necessary to properly rehabilitate and release native species in Louisiana.

Wildlife rehabilitation requires training and considerable commitment. Permit applicants should consider the amount of time, effort, and costs associated with caring for wildlife.


Permit Requirements and Conditions

  • Must be 18 or older.
  • No convicted felons or individuals with Class 2 or greater wildlife violations.
  • Must complete an application, release statement, and financial responsibility statement.
  • Must complete LDWF’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Basic Skills Course followed by a 100-question test as well as annual continuing education courses through LDWF. Must provide proof of course completion.
  • Must provide statement of support from a veterinarian and a letter of recommendation from a permitted wildlife rehabilitator.
  • Must pass a facility inspection. Enclosures must meet or exceed the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association/IWRC Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation.
  • Wildlife held under a Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit must be handled minimally and without public contact.
  • Sale or consumption of rehabilitated wildlife is prohibited.
  • Permitted wildlife rehabilitators must also have a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Migratory Bird Permit to possess any bird listed on the Migratory Bird List.
  • Wildlife Rehabilitation Permit does not exempt permittee from other state, federal, parish, or municipal agency/government ordinances.
  • Rehabilitated wildlife may not be imported into or exported out of Louisiana.
  • Permittee may not possess S-1 ranked species without written authorization.
  • It is illegal to possess wildlife native to North America as a pet or for the pet trade/industry. There is no permit for this, and no permit will be issued for such activity.
  • It is illegal to rehabilitate deer, black bears, alligators, and wild turkeys.


Wildlife Rehabilitation Basic Skills Course

LDWF holds an annual Wildlife Rehabilitation Basic Skills Course for individuals who wish to rehabilitate wildlife. This course is the only certification course recognized by LDWF. Per LDWF rules and regulations, all applicants who will rehabilitate wildlife in Louisiana must take this course.

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