Meet our Volunteers: Jim & Carley

Our volunteers are paramount to the implementation of Science for Wildlife projects. Without them, many of our projects and initiatives would not be as effective and in some instances, not possible. Continuing on from last month’s article featuring our wonderful volunteer Julie, this month will be recognising the contributions of our husband and wife duo, Jim and Carley!

Meet Jim and Carley

Jim and Carley have been volunteers with Science for Wildlife for over two years. During this time they have trained in a number of fieldwork projects and played a critical role in the koala rescue efforts that occurred ahead of the catastrophic bushfires.

Jim has been a long-time bushwalker and active member of Sydney Bush Walkers and SES Bush Search and Rescue. Jim and Carley also jointly compete in rogaining events, a competitive sport of wilderness off-track navigation with map and compass only. As such, Jim and Carley have a wealth of experience working in the Australian bush. This experience and on the ground knowledge has been of great value to the Science for Wildlife team.

Above: Jim deploying wildlife water station (early 2020)

For Jim and Carley, volunteering with our organisation has been an enjoyable and informative experience. They told us:

Science for Wildlife enables me to use my wilderness navigation and bush safety skills in a wonderful cause

– Jim

Being able to contribute to keeping koalas in the bush where they belong. The data we are able to provide about koala locations assists in the research to protect the species.

– Carley

As touched on earlier, Jim and Carley assisted us in the search and rescue efforts of late 2019. Jim recounted the experience, telling us:

Carley and I participated in the challenging weekend in late 2019 when S4W and a group of volunteers extracted koalas from Kanangra in the face of an advancing bushfire. In December 2019, as part of the effort to extract koalas from a bushfire zone, we transported a koala from Kanangra to Taronga Zoo. We got to see the animal safely released into temporary care at the zoo. Less dramatically, we then participated in koala searches at Kanangra, and the construction and deployment of wildlife watering stations

Above: Koala and browse ready to be transported to Taronga Zoo (December 2019)

Jim and Carley have also participated in ongoing koala surveys. Sometimes, during these surveys, our volunteers are lucky enough to spot new koalas! An experience we know is unforgettable. Carley told us:

A convention in S4W is that whoever spots a koala that is previously unrecorded gets to name it. Koalas in Kanangra are named for classical gods or heroes, and when Jim recently spotted an unrecorded koala, he named the animal Hydra. In hindsight, a slightly unflattering moniker!

How can you help S4W?

Work of this scale requires many hands! We are inviting volunteers from local communities and beyond to assist over the coming months and into early next year. We have around 400 scat surveys to complete, to work out where koalas have survived the fires. By volunteering with us, you will have the opportunity to build your knowledge and skills, while helping us with this vital conservation work. If you’re interested in learning more and registering to help out, then please check out the link below.

To make a donation, head to our website and follow the links to our secure payment systems. All donations over $2 are tax deductible for Australian Residents.

For other projects updates and to learn more about Science for Wildlife community, visit our website here.