Whether it's owls, badgers, and polecats or elephants, pandas, and giraffes - there are huge wildlife rescue efforts underway around the world. If this is something you're passionate about, then why not do something more to help?
Why Volunteer with a Wildlife Rescue Charity?
You may feel a burning sense of injustice that wildlife across the planet is under increasing threat from a rising and reckless human population. Or perhaps you have an affinity for one particular animal. Whichever it is, volunteering in this field can be hugely rewarding.
Wildlife rescue and conservation go hand in hand. If you're passionate about wildlife then you probably know that maintaining natural habits is crucial. You can get involved in both conservation and rescue of wildlife through lots of different charities.
How to Help Wildlife Rescue Charities
VOLUNTEER AT A RESCUE CENTRE
There are lots of charities around the UK devoted to wildlife rescue, often responding to calls from members of the public. As well as helping teams that bring in endangered animals, you could volunteer at a centre that cares for animals after they are rescued. Whether it's a wildlife hospital looking after sick, injured or orphaned animals, or a centre that nurtures vulnerable animals until they can be safely released, you can be as hands-on as you like.
ATTEND A TALK
Charities such as the Wildlife Trusts regularly put on educational talks and meetings to provide information on animal rescue. It might involve simple advice on what to do if you find an injured barn owl on your property or information on how to help birds such as the peregrine falcon continue to reemerge in the wild.
HELP A TRUST
Even better than going to a talk or meeting, the Wildlife Trusts are always on the lookout for volunteers to help out at their sites across the UK. In fact, you'd be joining a movement of over 43,000 volunteers if you donate your time to this charity. You can get involved with all different kinds of schemes and programmes aimed at protecting wildlife, whether it's surveying species, taking care of nature reserves, or helping with admin work.
If you want your passion for wildlife to take you beyond UK shores, there are lots of different causes to get involved with around the world. From rescuing orangutans in Indonesia to helping protect Africa's dwindling elephant population, there are a huge variety of things you can do. Charities such as African Parks are devoted to protecting animals such as rhino and elephants, as well as the forests, woodlands, savannahs and wetlands that provide the natural habitat required for them to survive.
ADOPT AN ANIMAL
Some of the world's biggest charities, such as WWF-UK, offer the chance to adopt a wide variety of animals, including lions, tigers, pandas, polar bears and dolphins. With an adoption pack that includes a cuddly toy as well as a fact pack and regular updates, this can be a great gift for family and friends of all ages.
Things To Know Before You Volunteer
Most volunteering opportunities have a minimum age of at least 16, while this is generally higher for roles located abroad.
If you do decide to volunteer abroad, there are usually costs you have to pay, with various volunteering organisations charging different amounts.
Where To Get Started
With so many wonderful charities doing so much to rescue wildlife, you're probably keen to get started. To point you in the right direction, take a look at these organisations which are always in need of more support:
People's Postcode Lottery players have raised over £21 Million for those three charities alone, and you can contribute too by signing up to play.