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Australia Wombat Rescue

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Australia Wombat Rescue

Help to mitigate the rapid loss of endangered native Australian species by volunteering with a small research, rescue and conservation centre in rural Queensland.

Prices from $1,395

Queensland is the second-largest and third-most-populous state in Australia and is home to many of the close to 1000 different bird species, over 700 reptile species and almost 400 mammal species that are found in Australia. With an area of 1,852,642 km2, Queensland is enormous and still overwhelmingly undeveloped and untouched by contemporary human development. However, the loss of precious habitats and the fragmentation of bushland into smaller and more isolated pockets and the spread of feral, predatory animals such at the household cat mean that many native species are struggling to survive.

A prime example of this is the Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat, which is Queensland’s most endangered marsupial. With a population of only approximately 200 known individuals, it is classed by IUCN as Critically Endangered. The species declined through extensive broad-scale habitat destruction and competition with cattle and sheep, particularly during times of droughts. It is currently threatened by its small population, which increases it's vulnerability to issues such as disease, natural disasters, inbreeding and subsequent loss of genetic variation, other native competitors and introduced predators. Introduced exotic grasses are also attributed to the Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat's decline. On a positive note, in recent years the population has been slowly increasing thanks to the efforts of projects such as this.

A captive breeding and research programme for the closely related Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat was established in 2009 by our local partner organisation in partnership with local authorities and educational institutions. Here, research and breeding take place with rescued animals to contribute to the recovery of the critically endangered Northern Hairy-nosed wombat. By studying the closely related Southern Hairy-nosed Wombat, this project contributes to gathering fundamental biological knowledge to aid in developing advanced breeding technologies that can be used to establish self-sustaining captive populations of both species.

Other species at the centre include the endangered Bridled Nailtail Wallaby and Squirrel Glider Possums. By volunteering for this project, you can help to stop the rapid decline of these precious native species through rescue, research and conservation.
 

Project Highlights

  • Get close to endangered native Australian species
  • The opportunity to be involved in important research
  • Improve your understanding of conservation efforts in Oz

Project Requirements

  • Minimum age of 18 years
  • Intermediate level of English ability
  • Limited availability so booking in advance is recommended

FAST FACTS

Location Queensland, Australia
Activities

Feeding and food preparation
Cleaning & maintaining shelters
Rehabilitation of injured animals
Husbandry assistance
Property maintenance

Transport Airport pick-up
Transport to the centre
Accommodation Shared accommodation at the centre

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go Pre-departure support
Travel advice & documentation
Kit advice
Discounted medical kit
Free Frontier T-shirt (UK only)
In-country Food
Accommodation
Airport pick-up & drop-off
Ground transfers to project
Project orientation and training
In-country emergency support
24-hour international HQ backup

QUALIFICATIONS

A variety of qualifications are available on many of our projects. For example, BTEC certificates and diplomas on our Group conservation projects and TEFL certificates and BTECs on most of our teaching projects. You may also be able to gain a CoPE to support your university application. For more information on these qualifications, please see the qualifications section of our website or ask your volunteer advisor.

WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?

This conservation and research centre has been in existence for almost 15 years and is dedicated to the protection and enhancement of Australia’s natural environment and native species. The rescue and rehabilitation of injured, ill and orphaned wildlife is one of the main activities of the centre, which also provides extensive support and assistance to many volunteer wildlife carers around the community. The centre also manages a number of captive husbandry and breeding programmes in partnership with local government authorities, universities and zoological institutions to conduct vital research on Australian wildlife, with emphasis on threatened species. The centre welcomes volunteers from all over the world, as well as students and researchers who want to gain experience and contribute to the important work of the project.

WHAT WILL I BE DOING?

This project is a unique way to experience the everyday running of a rescue, rehabilitation and research centre that cares for vulnerable and endangered wildlife. Volunteer efforts are integral to the successful functioning of the centre and its programmes and it’s important to remember how your small contribution impacts the long-term goals of this project.

Your day to day activities may include feeding efforts and food preparation, cleaning and maintaining animal shelters, property maintenance, husbandry and assistance with research and data collection. There is also the possibility that you may be able to help hand-rear joeys, depending on necessity and appropriateness when you are on the project. Especially during the warmer months, days start very early and break for rest during the heat of the day before reconvening to finish tasks in the afternoon. It’s important to be flexible and adaptive as you may be required to assist with several different tasks depending on the priorities of the centre when you are there.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I ARRIVE?

You will be met at Gladstone airport by a local staff member. It is important to arrive before 1pm as the project site is located some way from town. It is also possible to arrange a pickup from Gladstone town centre if you’re traveling overland.

WHERE WILL I BE STAYING?

Volunteers stay in their own room in the volunteer quarters, which is situated close by the main homestead. Sometimes you may need to share a room with another volunteer depending on numbers. There is a large kitchen and food preparation area, porch area, benches and tables on the grass and volunteers are allowed to make use of other homestead facilities. There is a laundry for washing your clothes and a hot shower. The project is located in a rural area and is not within easy access of bars or restaurants so it’s a chance to relax and enjoy the quiet surroundings.

WHAT WILL I BE EATING?

You will be able to access the pantry room as you please to prepare your own breakfast and lunch with plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables, cereals, breads and condiments to choose from. Evening meals are usually prepared for or with volunteers and shared together with staff. Preferred food and varying diets can accommodated, just be sure to inform your Volunteer Coordinator and local staff.

Ten Most Recent Reviews for This Project

WONDERFUL WORK  | 13 Aug 2018
I am amazed at the amount of work these wonderful people are doing to help our native animals. Be...

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ADDITIONAL OPPORTUNITIES

Queensland is an extremely popular destination for tourists and travellers and is therefore geared towards providing adventure activities and attractions for visitors. For reasonable prices you can try out a huge range of popular sports such as bungee jumping, sky diving, 4WD tours, mountain biking, or water-based sports on the coast such as jet boating, water skiing or even whale watching. Local providers are expert professionals and will guarantee a safe and exciting experience and with its dramatic landscapes and rugged rural scenery, Australia provides the perfect backdrop for these kinds of pastimes. Do remember that while on the project you will be in a remote location so you will need to plan for extra time at the beginning or end of your project if you wish to experience other activities.

COSTS

2 weeks $1,395

Extra week $545

DEPARTURE DATES

Monthly. Please arrive on the first Friday of the month.

DURATION

2 weeks +

WHAT'S INCLUDED

Before you go

  • Pre-departure support
  • Travel advice & documentation
  • Kit advice
  • Discounted medical kit
  • Free Frontier t-shirt (UK only)

In-country

  • 3 meals a day
  • Accommodation
  • Airport pick-up & drop-off
  • Ground transfers to project
  • Project orientation
  • Project equipment
  • In-country emergency support
  • 24-hour international HQ backup

AIRPORT INFORMATION

Nearest airport(s): Gladstone (QL) (GLT)

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Flights
  • Visas
  • Insurance

For detailed information on flights, visas and insurance, click here.


LEGAL STATEMENT

Please read our legal statement regarding the running of NGO projects.

To apply for this placement, click on "Apply Now" below. Fill in the short application form and one of our advisers will then call you back to answer any questions and make sure this is the perfect placement for you. Applying doesn't cost a penny and you won't pay anything until you're completely happy and you're ready to reserve your place.

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