Not Enough Hollows to go Around

Species Specific Nest Box Project

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Not Enough Hollows to go Around

Species Specific Nest Box Project

The issue

In the Central Lachlan Region studies have shown that less than 1% of the pre 1750's box gum grassy woodlands exists as remnants that have greater than 20% canopy cover, and are 10 ha in size or larger. Further, it is considered that only 0.05% of Box-Gum Grassy Woodland in NSW remains in near to original condition.

Our loss of old hollow bearing trees exceeds natural recruitment. For any new trees planted it takes about 80-100 years for them to develop natural hollows. Many native species need tree hollows, including 17% of birds, 42% of mammals and 28% of reptiles. The installation of nest boxes is an obvious way to begin addressing this shortage of natural hollows.

The solution

After previously implementing two successful Squirrel Glider nest box projects in known colony locations, there has been plenty of interest in nest boxes within our community and reports of further possible Squirrel Glider sightings. As part of a capacity building/on-ground works project Mid Lachlan Landcare has supplied Squirrel Glider and Red Rump Parrot boxes to some of our local community landcare groups for members properties that contained suitable habitat for these species.

The impact

The boxes will be monitored with the landholders and data gathered to enable further projects of this type as we find more Squirrel Glider populations. The parrot boxes will help us to gather information about their suitability and to see what other species may use them. We can then pass this data on to help further develop the existing knowledge on nest box construction and species use.

It is important to remember whilst nest boxes are a fantastic way to provide habitat for certain species. They do not come close to providing the habitat that a natural tree hollow provides. We must remember this and not assume if old trees removed that we can replace their use with nest boxes placed in smaller trees.


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Key facts

  • Squirrel Glider and Red Rump Parrot nest boxes installed on Landcare member properties.
  • Only 0.05% of Box-Gum Grassy Woodland in NSW remains in near to original condition.
  • It takes about 80-100 years for them to develop natural hollows.