From ancient rainforests and cascading waterfalls to a spectacular rocky ocean coastline, a visit to the Great Otway National Park is an unforgettable experience. Living within this spectacular scenery you’ll find a very famous marsupial, and the koala needs your help.
Once, millions of koalas could be found in Australia, before they were hunted almost to extinction for their thick and luxurious fur. Strict laws have stopped koala poaching, but we still need to find ways to manage populations. Today, there is actually an overpopulation of koalas in the Ottway National Park. This expedition seeks to understand the affect this is having on their habitat. If koalas destroy their homes, what happens to them? Climate change, disease, and attack by dogs are also habitat factors that Earthwatch scientists are working to understand tied to the future of the park’s koala population.
Koala Capture and Observation, Koala Tracking, Habitat Assessments, Research
Volunteers get the chance to work closely with koalas, and are involved in all aspects of the research. You’ll track radio collared koalas, and capture and handle them under the supervision of an experienced researcher. Volunteers also conduct tree measurements, habitat assessments, and spotlight animals at night. You’ll be taught how to collect biological samples, how to radiotrack an animal, and analyze koala voice recordings. With your help, we’ll understand koalas’ response to climate change, and plan for the conservation of their habitat.
The price of each project, which we call your contribution, covers all the costs associated with planning and managing our research projects, as well as preparing volunteers for their field experience with professional support, including a comprehensive pre-project briefing. Your contribution covers your food, accommodation, on-site travel, 24-hour emergency medical and evacuation insurance , carbon offsets, expert on-site training and field orientation, and components of the field research cost such as field permits and equipment. Support for these additional items ensures that your contribution will live on long after you have returned from the field.
The main additional costs will be your transport expenses to and from the rendezvous site. This means that airfares are not covered by your contribution. Additional costs may include passports, visas, airport taxes, and the costs of any side trips made before or after the expedition or on recreational days. Some expeditions have additional in-country travel costs to reach the research site
About the research area
The Great Otway National Park is located in the Southern Western regions of Victoria, Australia along the Great Ocean Road – a popular tourist drive with rugged cliffs and sea views.
Not only are the views breathtaking, the Otway Ranges itself is a unique experience with abundant rainforest wildlife, waterfalls and volcanic lakes.
Work beside world renowned scientists on pressing environmental problems. Get hands on experience tackling issues that matter to you.
You don't need any special skills - just a spirit of adventure and a desire to help - we'll teach you everything you need to know.
Meals and accommodation
Accommodation will be shared rooms split by gender, within the Otway National Park. There will be full facilities, including hot showers and flushing toilets. Breakfasts will be self serve, lunches will be made by participants and packed up to have in the field, and dinners will be a cooked meal where some assistance with preparation may be required.