Saturday, 30 April 2016

Great Barrier Reef: An Eco Friendly Volunteering Tour in Australia

The Great Barrier Reef is among the many attractions that Australia has to offer. It is also home to a huge population of marine turtles. However, because of disease, starvation and injuries caused by discarded fishing gear, boats or the ingestion of plastic materials and products that these gentle animals mistake for food, marine turtles are constantly rescued and taken into care. Fortunately, there are rehabilitation centres that take injured sea turtles brought in from the Reef and rehabilitate them, giving them specialised care and treatment.

A Rehabilitation Centre for sick marine turtles on the Great Barrier Reef is kept alive by volunteers as well as by donations from local businesses. Over the last 10 years, the centre has seen and treated in excess of 170 sick and injured Green, Olive Ridley and Hawksbill turtles, of which many have contracted "floaters disease," a disease common to sea turtles.

Volunteers offer their time and effort to assist. As you can imagine, there is feeding and cleaning to do, tourist tours to run and turtles to rescue and release. It is a great contribution to this self-sustainable rehabilitation centre as it could not be run without their help.  The volunteers get something in return of course, as this is very unique and special work and vacancies are limited. Where else would you get to be so close with some of the most prehistoric creatures on earth?

The centre is very much in need of additional hands that assist them in rehabilitating these turtles while sustainable and humane practices are promoted with the use of education initiatives to locals and tourists. Volunteers can enjoy being close with the turtles while completing simple tasks including cleaning turtle tanks, feeding the turtles, scratching the turtles, performing reef monitoring research, turtle release and providing any kind of assistance when requested. Volunteers may also enjoy a special visit to the Intensive Care Unit where they can see local volunteers care for critically injured or very sick turtles. Volunteers are expected to work in hot, humid, or wet weather, depending on the season in which they visit. You do not need to have any special skills to volunteer at this rehabilitation centre. The only requirement for this kind of volunteering projects is a love for animals and their welfare.

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Tuesday, 12 April 2016

10 Benefits of Great Barrier Reef Volunteering

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most iconic and popular natural wonders in Australia. The reef itself is a long ecosystem of hundreds of islands and thousands of reefs that are home to various species of fish, starfish, molluscs, sharks, dolphins, and turtles. There are not many volunteering opportunities that aim to help preserve the beauty and integrity of the Great Barrier Reef. You may have to research hard to find them. If you live locally or abroad, there is an opportunity to join a Great Barrier Reef volunteer program in Australia. There is a non-profit organisation that recruits volunteers for the project. When you become a Great Barrier Reef volunteer, you can:
  • Help treat sick and injured marine turtles – These animals are brought in from the Cape York Peninsula and the Great Barrier Reef due to starvation, disease or injuries caused by discarded fishing gear, boats, and ingested plastic. Most turtles suffer from 'floaters disease' too.
  • Keep a rescue centre for animals running – Volunteers can lend a helping hand at a rescue centre and assist in the care of sick and injured turtles. You can assist in cleaning turtle tanks, feeding turtles or work on special projects where you help with important research.
  • Gain some valuable and unique experiences– The Great Barrier Reef is unique to Australia and there is plenty of opportunity to explore while working with animals like the Green Turtle and the Hawksbill.
  • Make a big difference – The rescue centre opened over 3 years ago, and since then, its success rate in rehabilitating injured and sick animals and returning them to the sea has grown to over 85 percent from a mere 20 to 30 percent, thanks to the research that has gone into their care.
  • Spread the word – Apart from rehabilitating injured and sick turtles, you can help promote sustainable and humane practices through education and co-operation initiatives.
  • Help in reef monitoring research – Depending upon the time of year, volunteers can assist the staff in monitoring the reef.
  • Rescue turtles – Volunteers may provide assistance when there is a need to save turtles in distress.
  • Enjoy an adventure – If you love animals and travelling, volunteering on the Great Barrier Reef is an excellent opportunity to go on an adventure of a lifetime.
  • Clean the beach – Volunteers can participate in beach clean-ups on the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Have fun – Volunteers are free to use water sports equipment during their free time.

Animal Volunteering Programs – A Helping Hand

Joining animal volunteering programs is a great opportunity to lend a helping hand to animal welfare and wildlife conservation groups, and many animal volunteer recruitment agencies offer you the opportunity to join a variety of animal volunteer programs abroad. Australia has only one organisation that is dedicated to animal volunteer recruitment giving you access to local animal welfare and wildlife conservation projects that no one else offers. Volunteering in Australia is a great way to experience hands-on animal rescue and rehabilitation and the opportunity to care for its beautiful wildlife.

Animal volunteering programs are a great way to spend your summer because they give people who have a love for animals, the opportunity to get up close and care for wildlife and the environment where they live. Projects can include animal rehabilitation, rescue, marine conservation, wildlife care, research, veterinary assistance and education programs. You can choose where to contribute by looking at the details of a project and seeing which one is suitable. Look at the location, types of animals you will be caring for, the type of work involved, the work hours and the length of stay.

Volunteers may prefer a one-week volunteering holiday or a longer three month stay. A non-profit volunteer recruitment organisation can help arrange your trip to Australia and connect you with a suitable Australian wildlife project. Reputable not for profit volunteer recruitment organisations are able to offer access to ethical wildlife conservation and animal welfare projects. Some also offer opportunities in other countries such as South America, Asia and Africa, so you should be able to find the right program for you.

You may choose to travel alone, however to make volunteer work more enjoyable, invite some of your friends and family with you. Animal volunteer programs can provide some valuable and unique experiences with animals like kangaroos, wallabies, monkeys, lions, bears, elephants, and turtles, and if you have someone to share it with, it can be an even more amazing experience. Many animal welfare organizations will welcome a helping hand from volunteers to keep their services running for the animals and help promote their cause, however ensure you book through a reputable volunteer recruitment organisation so you know you’re contributing to something legitimate.

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