During your volunteering with the Christmas Island National Park reptile conservation program you will have the chance to work directly with the animals at the main captive breeding colony at a research station called the Pink House. Upon your arrival you will be invited to a safety induction and presentation by a CINP employee on the plight and hopeful future for CI reptiles. Over the next week you will spend five mornings (7:30-12:30 Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday) supervised and accompanied by dedicated CINP employees assisting with a major population health check called the census. You will be up close and personal with the reptiles in their enclosures, catching them, replacing used furnishings, cleaning their terraria and ‘thinking like a lizard’ to build them a new home.
If you have chosen to take part in the reptile and field conservation project you will focus on the reptile soft release sites and also dedicate time to assist the Christmas Island National Park’s, Mine Site to Forest Rehabilitation team in planting seedlings and trees in sites once cleared for phosphate mining. This is an incredible opportunity to help restore areas to become fully functioning rainforests. This project is in place to ensure that habitat is provided for the Island’s native wildlife, especially the endemic Abbott’s Booby bird.
CINP staff have a wealth of experience and will provide you all the training you require and insights into the history of the program and reptile conservation. You will also have the opportunity to see some exciting new developments including a ‘soft-release site’ housing a thriving wild population of blue-tailed skinks and recently introduced Lister’s geckos.
The rest of the time is your own to explore Christmas Island. Land and water based tours can be arranged or take the time to explore the jungles and the water by yourself.
There is an option is to visit the nearby Cocos (Keeling) Islands and explore this tiny coral atoll and the visit Pulu Blan. This small 2 hectare island is home to a recently translocated population of Christmas Island blue-tailed skinks. Transport will be by motorised kayak across the lagoon.