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Voluntourism Spotlight: Help the Koalas with Earthwatch Institute

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It’s hard to imagine a trip to Australia without koala bears, but did you realize that global client change is starting to affect these creature.  In this week’s Voluntourism Spotlight, together with GoVoluntouring, we’re highlighting the Earthwatch Institute’s efforts to document these creature and their habits.  Check back every Wednesday for more voluntourism opportunities and tune into Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio on Saturday for more information.

This September and November, Earthwatch Institute is offering volunteers the opportunity to work with koala bears for 10-day trips in Australia’s Great Otway National Park.

Right now the koalas’ habitat is undergoing significant structural change due to global climate change. More koalas are inhabiting the same areas which is causing severe wear on the region’s trees.

Little is known about the Otway koalas and their habitat, so there is plenty of room for volunteers to get involved. Volunteers are needed to assist in lifestyle documentation. They will get to help conduct research on koalas, participate in habitat assessments, and help capture and handle koalas under close supervision of an experienced catcher/handler.

Otway National Park isn’t just a great place to volunteer; it’s a great place to enjoy rainforest wildlife, waterfalls and volcanic lakes. But remember, this isn’t a trip for a couch potato, as it requires a lot of hands-on work with animals and a good amount of fieldwork.

Earthwatch Institute provides accommodation be split by gender along with three daily meals, trip activities, electricity, flush toilets and hot running water. The 10-day trip package is $2,895.

By Charles Edward Hicks for