Forget partridges in pear trees, how about some boots for rangers in Africa or some food for orphaned kangaroos in Australia? This festive season, we've decided to rework an old holiday classic to tell a slightly different story: here's what a US$100 donation can do to help save the world's wildlife (for those feeling the holiday pinch, we've included a cheaper/non-monetary alternative for each of the suggestions below):

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12 Boots for Walking. Image © The Safari Store

Fewer jobs are tougher than being a ranger in Congo's Virunga National Park. From trudging through forests to wading through swamps, the Virunga rangers spend a lot of time on their feet, and decent footwear is essential for the job. For just US$100 you can sponsor 12 pairs of much-needed boots to help these dedicated rangers protect Africa's oldest national park and its animal inhabitants from armed poachers, rebel militia and encroaching oil prospectors.

For those on a budget: If the festive season has sapped your finances dry, a simple change in buying habits could make all the difference for central Africa's wild animals. The expansion of palm oil plantations has resulted in habitat loss for many of Virunga's iconic species including mountain gorillas and chimpanzees. If you want to help them out, make sure the products you buy use Certified Sustainable Palm Oil.

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11 Shears for Gardening. Image © Tania Kuhl

When human and wildlife habitats overlap, the results are rarely good. Animals living near urban areas face a host of threats, from speeding cars to electric power lines. CROW (The Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife) are committed to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of orphaned and injured wildlife found in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province. For US$100 you could sponsor 11 pairs of garden shears to help the team maintain their Durban wildlife centre.

For those on a budget: CROW have an extensive wishlist of items that includes homeware and stationery. So before you throw out that old piece of furniture, check if CROW could use it. Also, make sure you're not part of the problem. Travel slowly in wildlife habitats to avoid collisions with animals, and, if you have a garden, why not convert it into an animal-friendly stopover for urban critters.

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10 Nets for Mozzies. Image © The Safari Store

For the rangers working in the muggy heat of Africa's tropics, mosquitoes are more than just a pesky irritation – they can be deadly. In an effort to help protect nature’s protectors, Australian-based NGO The Thin Green Line strives to equip rangers with the gear they need to successfully do their jobs in the most trying of conditions. US$100 buys them ten mosquito nets, vital shields against potentially deadly malaria and dengue fever.

For those on a budget: The mozzie nets are US$10 a piece, so a single net is a more wallet-friendly donation that can still go a long way to helping rangers fight the good fight. Also keep an eye on any volunteering options listed on the The Green Line website.

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9 Thermometers for Hatching. Image © Leo Fung

Although they get a pretty bad rap, vultures play a vital role in maintaining healthy ecosystems by cleaning up dead carcasses and reducing the spread of disease. From rehabilitating injured birds and monitoring vulture populations, to carrying out breeding projects and awareness programmes, Kerri Wolter and the team at VulPro in South Africa are on a mission to ensure that these unique birds are conserved not vilified. US$100 should get you about nine thermometers that will help ensure vulture eggs are incubated at just the right temperature.

For those on a budget: Like many wildlife conservation organisations, VulPro have an extensive list of items they require for their rehabilitation centre. And if you can't help out there, knowledge can go a long way to saving a species. Educate yourself about the plight of Africa's vultures and then spread the word.

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8 Tubs of Waxworms.

Waxworms ... it's the gift that keeps on giving. Terrarium owners are probably familiar with the use of these fatty moth larvae as a food source for everything from geckos and chameleons to birds and turtles. For UK-based animal rescuers Wildlife Aid, the squirmy treats are perfect for keeping rescued animals well-nourished. According to the Wildlife Aid wishlist, US$100 will get you eight tubs of tasty waxworms.

For those on a budget: Eight tubs of waxworms might be overkill, but the Wildlife Aid wishlist is full of other much-needed oddities that you can sponsor to help England's wild animals (the cheapest option is a US$2 pack of cocktail sticks used for "spreading poo samples on microscope slides!"). And if the cocktail sticks are still beyond your budget, UK residents can check out the volunteering options.

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7 Bracelets for Turtles.

Did you know? Indonesia is home to six of the world’s seven sea turtle species. In an effort to protect these shelled reptiles, Friends of the National Parks Foundation (FNPF) has teamed up with a local community on the island of Nusa Penida (where wild turtles still forage and nest) to produce hand-crafted Turtle Saver Bracelets. All of the proceeds from the jewellery go towards turtle monitoring projects on the island.

For those on a budget: If US$15 for a bracelet is out of budget, FNPF has a long wishlist of required gear, from gardening gloves to laptops. Also make sure that any jewellery you purchase is free from environmental exploitation (coral necklaces are a no-no).

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6 Weeks of Roo Food. Image © Michael Zimmer

Founded in 2008, the Australian Wildlife Hospital is one of the busiest animal rescue facilities in the world. They receive up to 100 emergency calls a day, and on average, 70 koalas are brought into the hospital every month. Like many wildlife rescue centres, funding for the project comes from donations and sponsors (koalas don't have health insurance), so the team welcomes any contributions it can get. US$100 would supply enough food to feed an orphaned kangaroo joey for six weeks. Hop to it!

For those on a budget: Have any old teddy bears lying around? An old blanket perhaps? If you're in Australia, the wildlife hospital have a lengthy wishlist that you can help shorten.

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5 Park Permits. Image © Edward Stojakovic

There's no better way to appreciate the natural world than to immerse yourself in it! In the US (and other countries) National Park fees contribute to "critical projects that improve visitor services and protect natural and cultural resources". US $100 will buy you about five national park passes that are valid for a week. So grab four friends and head into the wild this festive season.

For those on a budget: Park passes are generally cheaper the smaller your vehicle, so go on foot and save a few bucks. And if you're planning on getting into the wild more regularly, pick up an annual pass for US$80. Of course, you could always just take a stroll in your local city park for free.

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4 Mobile Phones. Image © Tania Kuhl

Lion populations have dropped by as much as 42 percent in the last 21 years on the African continent – and human encroachment is largely to blame. As natural habitats are cleared to make way for agriculture and development, there's less space for lions, forcing the big cats closer to human settlements, where they sometimes prey on livestock. Enter the Lion Guardians. This NGO is all about teaming up with local communities and forging long-term solutions to the problem. They currently have a team of more than 80 East Africans working across much of Kenya's wild spaces to protect the country's biggest cats. A US$100 donation buys four mobile phones that can be used by the Guardians to call in reports.

For those on a budget: Want to help save lions? Don't pet them. Reputable organisations will have a minimal or no-contact approach to their wildlife unless the animal is never going to be released, so avoid any lion petting parks. 

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3 Healthy Devils. Image © Travis

Tasmanian devils are nothing if not unique. The world's largest carnivorous marsupial, the species is known for its pungent odour, loud screeching and ferocity at the dinner table. Once widespread across Tasmania, devil populations have declined rapidly due to Devil Facial Tumour Disease (DFTD), a fatal condition that causes cancers around the mouth and head. As much as 80 percent of the island's devils have been wiped out by DFTD. But all is not lost! Researchers believe a vaccine is close, rekindling hope for the species. A donation of US$100 would help them conduct health assessments on three Tasmanian devils.

For those on a budget: If you're anywhere near Tasmania, you can volunteer with the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program. The organisation's website also contains info on how you can run your own fundraising campaign to help the devils.

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2 Penguin Chicks. Image © Grant Peters

From October to January, it's "chick season" at the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB). Over 200 abandoned African penguin chicks have been admitted to the facility in Cape Town, South Africa since October this year, where they will be cared for until they're strong enough to face life in the ocean. The chicks are left to fend for themselves when the adults birds begin their annual moult. Baby penguins that have not fledged by that time face starvation and certain death – unless organisations like SANCCOB step in. For US$100 you can "adopt" and name two chicks for Christmas. Be a hero, save a chick.

For those on a budget: A donation of US$13 provides three boxes of fish for the hungry chicks, or you can head to the windy city of Cape Town and volunteer to help out.

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And a Jungle Gym for a Rescued Asian Bear. Image © Madeleine Deaton

Asia's bear species spend a lot of time in the trees – you might say that having a tree trunk to scale or a branch to climb is a "bear necessity" (see what we did there?). For the bears rescued by Animals Asia and relocated to bear sanctuaries across China and Vietnam, a wooden climbing structure is a much-needed addition to their enclosures. To date, Animals Asia has rescued over 500 bears from the horrific bear bile trade, relocating them to award-winning sanctuaries where they can live out the rest of their days free from cruelty. Your donation could make a rescued bear's life just a little better. And who doesn't want their own jungle gym?

For those on a budget: You can start helping bears immediately by making sure that you never buy anything that contains bear bile (there are more sustainable alternatives).