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Nailtail Wallaby Monitoring Census, 15-19 July, Avocet Nature Refuge

July 15 - July 19

AUD $495
Wild Mob - Wallaby conservation

Location: Avocet Nature Refuge, QLD

Dates: 15–19 July 2019

Duration: 4 nights, 5 days

Av daily temp: 8–23ºC

Group size: Max 8

Cost: $495




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Calling all Wallaby lovers!

Help the Wild Mob team conduct vital census survey work at our Bridled Nailtail Wallaby Nursery in Avocet Nature Refuge.  This is your chance to get up close and personal with breeding wallabies and their adorable joeys, and be part of a pioneering program to save the cutest wallaby in Australia!

Avocet is located in Central Queensland, about 40 minutes south of Emerald. The week’s work will include:
Assist Avocet researchers in a capture-mark-recapture survey (or CMR)
Assist with setting traps, catching wallabies and processing wallabies, including taking measurements and checking health statistics
Fence maintenance, weed control and basic earthworks

You’ll learn correct wallaby handling and monitoring techniques from experts in the field, and have the opportunity to get up close with a species that is on the edge of extinction.

There will also be time to explore the refuge and surrounding areas like Lake Maraboon (great for a swim) and Minerva Hills (amazing hiking).

Is this trip right for you?

Much of the week’s work will be done at night when the wallabies are active. We will set up camp at the refuge with basic facilities, reception and electricity. There is no level of fitness required for this trip. Volunteers must be at least 17 years of age.

A day in the field:

A typical day sees mornings dedicated to conservation work, and afternoons relaxing and exploring.

8pm-12am: Aiding Avocet researchers in Nailtail Nursery monitoring via a capture-mark-recapture survey (CMR). Volunteers will assist with setting traps, catching wallabies and processing wallabies, including taking measurements and checking health statistics. Th length of the night’s work will vary but we normally expect to be in bed by 12am.

4.00am: We will need to check traps again to make sure all wallabies are released back into the wild before dawn then we catch up on some more sleep.

9.00am: Breakfast at camp. A selection of cereals, toasts and fruits to get you fuelled for the day ahead.

10am-2pm: Time to explore the refuge, local heritage sites and nearby ecological areas like Lake Maraboon or Minerva Hills or catch up on some sleep, relax, ensure traps and nursery functioning.

11am: Break for a morning cuppa.

1.30pm: Lunch with the team at camp, prepared by our Project Leaders (who are also culinary experts!). We can cater to a range of dietary requirements.

3pm: Reset traps ready for the night’s census

5pm: Sundowners and nibble round the campfire

6.00pm: Dinner at camp with a group meeting and discussion.

Cost includes:

We are a not-for-profit conservation organisation first and foremost. The costs involved in our trips cover our expenses and small overheads. Any profit we make goes right back into our conservation programs.

Travel to and from Avocet Nature Refuge from Emerald and to local areas in Wild Mob’s Troop Carrier
All food for the trip, home-cooked by your Project Leader
Use of all work equipment and training in correct wallaby handling and monitoring techniques
All camping gear and swags (please bring your own sleeping bag)
Alcohol is not included, but please feel free to bring along your own for daily “sundowners” at camp


There is no accommodation at the refuge. We will set up camp in tents and have use of a timber communal area
There is electricity for light and charging items at the refuge
There are no shops or laundry facilities at the refuge
There is strong phone and internet reception at the refuge.
Camping toilets and bush showers are available at the refuge

Conservation impact:

In the last 100 years, Bridled Nailtail Wallaby populations have plummeted to only a few hundred individuals across Queensland – at Taunton National Park, Idalia National Park, Scotia Wildlife Sanctuary and Avocet Nature Refuge.

The major issue? Almost half of all baby Bridled Nailtails don’t make it to adulthood, primarily due to feral cats. They are simply too small to defend themselves.

Wild Mob is pioneering a new approach to threatened species management to save the Bridled Nailtail. Our custom-built nursery within Avocet Nature Refuge protects juvenile wallabies until they’re big enough to defend themselves against predators.

The nursery uses state-of-the-art monitoring technologies to ensure efficient, hands-off management for young Nailtails. Mums are housed in the nursery until their babies are fully weaned and independent. The young Nailtails are then housed until they weigh more than 3kgs (outside predator range). They are then released back into the main refuge to thrive and breed.

The capture-mark-recapture survey (or CMR) is essential for estimating the population and tracking vital statistics like health, growth, birth rates and population movement. This aids researchers in ensuring the program is successful, helping to streamline and improve any elements of the program so the wallabies can continue to thrive!

Read more about our Nailtail Nursery conservation program.

Sal Stutsel, Wild Mob Project Leader

Sal has a degree in Environmental Science and a Graduate Certificate in Environmental Management, through CQ University, Rockhampton. She has developed many successful small business projects in rural communities over the years, all underpinned by an environmental, ethical and sustainable philosophy. Read more…

Aly Ross, Avocet Researcher

UNSW PhD candidate Aly is an expert on the Bridled Nailtail Wallaby and  is a key contributor to wallaby conservation efforts at Avocet Nature Refuge.

 What to pack:

1 large backpack (better than a suitcase as you will be required to carry your luggage at times)
1 small backpack (for daytime activities)
1 sleeping bag (swags and mats are provided)
1 pair of thick working pants (to protect against scratches from plants and insects. We recommend something thicker than yoga pants, like jeans)
1 or more pairs of long working shirts and trousers (to protect against scratches from plants, insect bites and the sun)
Wet weather clothing (a lightweight jacket with a hood is perfect)
Warm clothes (it can get a little chilly at night, a fleece, wind stopper or sweater is ideal)
1 pair of walking or hiking boots with strong soles (for hiking and working in thick bushland)
1 pair of sandals, thongs or flip-flops
1 pair of swimmers
1 towel
1 pair of sunglasses
1 hat (wide-brimmed for plenty of shade is best)
1 personal drink bottle (a total minimum 2 litres is best)
Personal medication and toiletries.
Sunscreen (highest protection factor you can get)
Insect repellent (preferably biodegradable)
Torch and spare batteries (we’d opt for a head torch)
Plenty of casual clothing (t-shirts, tops, shorts, socks, underwear and anything else you think you may need for the week)
Any personal medication and medical equipment (please note there is no access to pharmacies on the islands)

Highly recommended:

Camera and spare batteries
1 small pillow or pillowcase to put your jumper in
Binoculars to spot wallabies (optional)
Things for free time (books, cards, music etc)

Meeting point:

Emerald Airport, Emerald QLD 4720

If you are travelling from Mackay, there may be opportunity to travel with the Wild Mob team in the troop carrier. Get in touch if this could be an option for you.

Departure times:

Start date: Monday 15/07/2019 at approx. 1:00 pm (flexible to accommodate flight times)
End date: Friday 19/07/2019 at approx. 1:00 pm (flexible to accommodate flight times)

Emerald is serviced by Qantas and Virgin airlines. There are several direct flights to Emerald via Brisbane from most major airports. Check direct with the airline for availability.

What next?

Secure your spot with a $100 deposit by clicking Book Now. We’ll then be in touch with everything you need to get ready for your expedition.

Read our trip Terms and Conditions.

What our volunteers are saying

The Bridled Nailtail Wallaby Experience is something that I will never forget. The Wild Mob staff were incredibly patient with us, who had no experience with wallabies or even being in the bush. We all agreed that we learnt something new every day.


The most interesting thing I learnt was about myself. Having grown up in a city surrounded by technology, I learnt how dependent we are upon our technology. Being on an island away from phone reception or internet, I found that it was simply a desire as opposed to a necessity.


Wild Mob is instrumental in conservation in Australia. Working with them was a real privilege. Knowing that what you’re doing is having an impact, and seeing that impact as you work made my time with them a real highlight!


The work we were doing is going to have a real, valuable impact.


Working with Wild Mob was incredible! Being able to get real hands-on experience and learning how conservation works in the real world has been eye opening. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience.



July 15
July 19
AUD $495
Event Categories:
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Avocet Nature Refuge
Emerald, QLD 4720 Australia + Google Map