Iowa Wildlife Center

who we are

Marlene teaching about wildlife and habitat stewardship
Marlene teaching about wildlife and habitat stewardship

The Iowa Wildlife Center provides professional wildlife rescue, medical treatment and rehabilitation of native wildlife in central Iowa; teaches about wildlife and habitat stewardship; and provides wildlife assistance skills training.

Most dogs and cats have responsible owners who provide safe homes, veterinarians who watch over their health and animal shelters that provide housing and care when they need it, but where can wild animals find such food, care and comfort? Every year thousands of birds and other animals in Iowa are orphaned, injured, sickened or displaced - often due to human activity. Windows, vehicles, cats, toxins, power lines, and other "unnatural" dangers take their toll, as does conversion of native habitat for human use -- all of this along with natural events such as violent storms.

A great number of Iowans care about our wildlife and protecting their habitats. Many who find injured or displaced creatures would also like to give them a chance to be free and wild again. But to whom do they turn?

The Iowa Wildlife Center (IWC) will focus on the place where humans and wildlife connect by providing wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and research for central Iowa that is based on science, ethics and humane care. The Iowa Wildlife Center will offer statewide wildlife assistance skills training for conservation professionals and volunteers and provide wildlife education to all Iowans.

Our Guiding Principals

  • Gladys Black
    Gladys Black with Barred Owl
    The Center will focus on the medical treatment, rehabilitation, conditioning and release primarily of native wildlife, with a special focus on native birds, bats, reptiles, amphibians and mammals of conservation concern.
  • IWC will offer professional wildlife rescue in central Iowa - if we determine that the animal does need to be rescued and that you cannot safely rescue it yourself, we will either send our own staff or try to locate someone near you qualified to capture the animal.
  • IWC will work cooperatively with existing wildlife rehabilitation and education programs, strengthening each of our missions by doing so. Gladys Black, right, was a mentor to many early Iowa conservation professionals. Known as "Mother of Wildlife Rehabilitation" to some and "Bird Lady" to others, she was a central figure in the wildlife rehabilitation and education communities in the 1960s and 70s. IWC honors her dedication to both fields with our mission and cooperative work.
  • The Iowa Wildlife Center's work will be guided by several documents, including the following: the Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation, a National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association and International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council cooperative project; A Wildlife Rehabilitator's Code of Ethics; A Wildlife Educator's Code of Ethics; and the Iowa Wildlife Action Plan, a "comprehensive and workable plan designed to aid all wildlife".

Our Temporary Ames Headquarters