Six University of Adelaide volunteers braved the dark and cold in the early morning last Thursday 7 May to help University researchers investigate River Torrens ducks and other waterbirds for avian influenza.
The six volunteers are among 50 members of the community who responded to the call for Duckwatch volunteers.
They are helping wildlife veterinarian and PhD candidate Dr Toni Dalziel and colleagues discover what strains of avian influenza the waterbirds are carrying and how this changes over time.
“The volunteers are fundamental for this research field work─it couldn’t proceed without them,” says Dr Dalziel.
“They are providing essential research support by monitoring the ducks and helping ensure their safety, as well as providing information to the general public about the project.”
“They are doing a great job and we’d love to hear from anyone else interested via the website ua.edu.au/duckwatch.”
The “Duckwatchers” are among the almost 2300 University volunteers who give their time to support a variety of University projects.
Last year, volunteers contributed 128,142 hours of service in over 30 different programs across the University. They come from all walks of life, including alumni, students and the general community.
Other projects include archives and libraries, welcoming new international students to Adelaide and helping to preserve the 147 hectares of the Waite Conservation Reserve.
On Monday 11 May, as part of National Volunteers Week, University volunteers joined other volunteers from across the state in the National Volunteers Week Parade from the Torrens Parade ground to Victoria Square.