WHAT WILL BE EXPECTED OF ME?
Every day is different, the standard day starts with the cleaning of all the aviaries and then after breakfast, we do various jobs around the garden, some maintenance if required, but usually we have a bit of a break over midday, but this varies on what animals we have in care and what their requirements are i.e. orphans needing bottle fed/animals needing medication etc.
In the afternoon we start food prep, it takes about an hour and a half, to chop up all the fruit and distribute it to aviaries. After dinner we feed the Microbats and chill out after a hard day work! 🙂
Volunteers also have to be prepared to work all hours of the day and night, we may be called out of rescues and have to be available at all times or at least not too far away from the centre when out and about.
During the day (in dry season/tourist season) we are open to the public, giving informative presentations to the public concerning Flying Foxes and the work we do. We are all about education but the presentation are optional, if someone does not feel comfortable with public speaking, it is not mandatory but is a good learning experience. We also attend schools.
They also have to be aware that we are based in the rainforest and that we do frequently have very large pythons, usually 2-5metres, coming into the centre to try and eat the animals, volunteers need to be prepared to catch pythons or at least assist in their capture under the supervision and guidance of the experienced ‘staff’ (the permanent staff are also volunteers)
The work here is varied depending on time of year and animals in care but at all times volunteers are expected to keep the house clean and help in simple house chores like emptying the dishwasher and the like.
HOW LONG CAN I VOLUNTEER FOR?
Minimum stay 2 weeks
Maximum stay 2-3 months.
Length of stay can be extended upon arrival if the volunteer is keen and displays a good level of commitment and work.
WHAT QUALIFICATIONS, IF ANY, DO I REQUIRE?
Volunteers do not need to have any qualifications; all training is given on arrival. Some experience with animals is preferable, but a passion for wildlife is always good!
WILL I NEED TO KNOW ANOTHER LANGUAGE?
You must be able to speak fluent English because of the education we do with the public, schools and groups.
HOW DO I GET TO YOUR LOCATION?
You can get to us by flying into Cairns Airport in Far North Queensland. If given advance notice of flight details we can pick you up from the airport, or you can get the shuttle bus or taxi. We are easily found in the centre of Kuranda, which is a small tourist village. The bus stop is across the road or if getting a taxi, just ask to be dropped off at the Fire Station. Beside the Fire Station is a ‘JumRum Environmental Walk” go down that path and we are on the right.
ARE THERE ANY COSTS INVOLVED TO VOLUNTEER?
Click HERE to find out up to date costs and requirements for volunteering with BATREACH.
WHAT TYPE OF ACCOMMODATION, MEALS AND FACILITIES CAN I EXPECT TO BE AVAILABLE TO ME?
Volunteers will be living in Pam’s house, upstairs in bunk-bed accommodation with a maximum of 4 volunteers at a time; there is a screen available but no separate accommodation for men/women. Volunteers are responsible for their own meals but often we will take turns cooking for each other. There is a super market locally though we do weekly trips to the Smithfield Shopping Centre where all the big chain stores are.
Most of the staff are vegetarian/vegan (those who aren’t will eat vegetarian when at the centre), it isn’t a requirement to be vegetarian to volunteer but it is preferable that volunteers avoid cooking large meat dishes on-site, some of the staff have an aversion to the smell of steak… 😛 .
WHAT WILDLIFE SPECIES ARE THERE?
All the mainland species of Flying Fox (Spectacle/Black/Grey/Red)
Several species of Microbat (most commonly Loriae/Beccari’s/Bifax)
Small Marsupials (Bandicoots etc)
WHAT ATTRACTIONS CAN I EXPERIENCE DURING FREE-TIME?
We are based in the middle of a tourist village so there is plenty to do locally, you can visit the markets, wildlife parks, cafes, walks through the rainforest or if we are not busy volunteers can go down into Cairns for the day or if we have enough volunteers to hold the fort, it can be arranged for them to take a couple days off to visit the barrier reef.
BatReach is a small volunteer run organisation lead by Pam Tully, an experienced wildlife carer of many years. Pam started BatReach in 1990 in Kuranda, mainly focusing on Spectacled Flying Foxes but always has space for any animal in need, usually Flying Foxes, Microbats, Possums, Gliders and a range of small Marsupials, Native Rats and some Macropods.
We can house up to 300 animals at a time and our busiest season is October – January when the Flying Fox orphan season is at its peak and take a maximum of 4 live in volunteers at a time.
For more information on BATREACH, please visit www.batreach.com
For important information on travelling overseas, please read ‘KNOW BEFORE YOU GO WILD!‘