Volunteer – Tolga Bat Hospital

TOLGA

WHAT WILL BE EXPECTED OF ME?

It depends on the time of year. October to January, can expect a lot so hands-on work with orphaned flying foxes and quite long hours every day. At other times of year little or no handling of flying foxes, but much shorter working hours.

We usually need 4 – 10 full time people, as well as our dedicated group of local part-time volunteers. Our Visitor Centre is open from June to September and we appreciate volunteers at that time with an interest in environmental education. We prefer a minimum stay of one month in busy season, and one week the rest of the year.

Help can also be needed with current research projects and Landcare work (maintenance of tree plantings, weed control). It is appreciated if volunteers can stay a minimum of one month at this time of year. Experienced flying fox carers can be an exception to this rule. Tourist volunteers can stay less than 2 weeks but pay higher rates for food and board.

HOW LONG CAN I VOLUNTEER FOR?

Minimum 2 weeks, Maximum 3 months

WHAT QUALIFICATIONS, IF ANY, DO I REQUIRE?

Volunteers must be vaccinated for rabies to handle the bats. Volunteers are needed all year round but especially during tick paralysis season, when hundreds of adults and orphans come into care.

WHAT LANGUAGE WILL I NEED TO KNOW?

English

HOW DO I GET TO YOUR LOCATION?

The bat hospital is 7kms or about 4 miles from Atherton. Although a relatively small town, it has all the necessary infrastructure for banking, health care etc

The closest airport is Cairns

Check the bus timetable for ‘Transnorth Buses’ from Cairns to Atherton. Allow 1.5 hours to get from the airport to the bus stop in the city centre by airport shuttle bus. It is only a 5 km trip but the bus might take 15 minutes to leave, and it drops off people at their accommodation places on the way. You can hail down the bus at a point where the airport road meets the highway, without going into town. You’ll need to cross the road and stand on the pavement outside the Backpacker Vans. This is only 5 minutes from the airport so you could get a taxi there for about the same cost as the bus into town. Let me know if you want to do this and I’ll let the bus company know. The bus leaves from under the Cairns Central Shopping Centre, platform 1. We will meet you off the bus in Atherton. Buses can take you to the airport on the return trip for an extra $5. Just book your flights accordingly.

ARE THERE ANY COSTS INVOLVED TO VOLUNTEER?

Click HERE to find out up to date costs and requirements for volunteering with TOLGA BAT HOSPITAL.

WHAT TYPE OF ACCOMMODATION, MEALS AND FACILITIES CAN I EXPECT TO BE AVAILABLE TO ME?

Yes vegetarian and vegan. Accommodation varies with the number so of other volunteers here at the time. Please visit www.tolgabathospital.org

WHAT WILDLIFE SPECIES ARE THERE?

All bats! 4 species of flying fox, several species of microbat

WHAT ATTRACTIONS CAN I EXPERIENCE DURING FREE-TIME?

Bushwalk, swimming, markets, wildlife watching on the Atherton Tablelands.

IN CONCLUSION

We are a community group in Australia working for the conservation of bats and their habitat.  Our activities began in 1990, the year tick paralysis was discovered in flying foxes on the Atherton Tablelands. We originally worked with the Spectacled flying foxes resident at the Tolga Scrub, and hence our name. We now work with any bat, megabat or microbat, from anywhere. Bats come to us for rescue from hundreds of kilometres away, and we also take bats for sanctuary that are being retired from zoos. We became incorporated in 2002 as a not-for-profit community group, listed on the Register of Environmental Organisations in 2007, and a registered charity in 2008. This enables us to accept tax-deductible donations. In 2009 we opened the Visitor Centre onsite at the Bat Hospital.

For more information on TOLGA BAT HOSPITAL, please visit www.tolgabathospital.org

For important information on travelling overseas, please read ‘KNOW BEFORE YOU GO WILD!‘