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Motivations and Characteristics of Volunteer Flying-Fox Rehabilitators in Australia

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Abstract:

A survey of volunteers involved in flying-fox rehabilitation was undertaken to determine the demographic profile of Carers, their motivations for rehabilitation and the costs incurred in the care of flying-foxes. Carers (n=119) from the east coast of Australia responded by completing a two-page questionnaire. Ninety percent of Carers were women and Carers' ages ranged from <20 to 50+ years, with a majority (60%) aged between 30-50 years. Most Carers were employed and almost 30% had professional or para-professional occupations. Carers appeared to be motivated by altruism rather than by a nurturance instinct or the desire to conserve the species. Respondents considered the time-demand of rehabilitation to be the single greatest challenge to the task, while the risk of contracting a bat-transmitted disease caused concern to 41.2% of Carers. Recruitment of new Carers occurred predominantly through contact with care groups or individual bat supporters which indicated a potential avenue for the dissemination of information and conservation messages to the public.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2752/089279398787000562

Publication date: December 1, 1998

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