Donated nest boxes installed on mid coast region for bushfire impacted species

A total of 65 nest boxes have been installed for bushfire impacted species on private property adjoining bushfire impacted areas that were known to have been important habitat for a number of threatened species.

Supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery for Species and Landscapes Program, Hunter Local Land Services engaged Aboriginal Working on Country Rangers, employed through Taree Indigenous Employment and Development (TIDE) and several landholders to install nest boxes.

Senior Land Services Officer, Hunter Local Land Services Rye Gollan said the boxes were handmade and donated by a couple in Sydney, Ron Claassens and Ann Mouland, both dedicated to conservation and working with a research organisation, who raised money through their networks (including oversees donors) to build the nest boxes for bushfire impacted areas.

“The couple put aside almost 12 months of their time to dedicate to building hundreds of boxes that went to Kangaroo Island, areas of Victoria, Bundanoon and other severe bushfire impacted areas, with Hunter Local Land Services being one of the many beneficiaries,” Mr Gollan said.

“The nest boxes were installed in bushfire impacted areas of the Mid Coast region targeting local populations of threatened species likely to still be recovering.”

Mid Coast Council, a key partner, also installed a small number of the boxes in their reserves.

With up to 30% of key habitat impacted by bushfires in the Mid Coast, these nest boxes should help provide additional refuge and nesting habitat critical to the survival of hollow-dependant species.

“This is particularly important for larger species such as the Greater Glider, Yellow-bellied Glider, Glossy Black-cockatoo, Powerful, Sooty and Masked Owl which require the mature forests to provide large enough hollows – of which, the already limited habitat was significantly burnt within our region,” Mr Gollan said.

In Kiwarrak and Killabakh areas, 46 Greater Glider and possum boxes, 12 Antechinus/Pygmy Possum and 7 parrot boxes have been installed on private properties adjoining priority habitats in National Parks and Forestry lands.

“While many other boxes were donated to other organisations across the state, we will be the first organisation to install, monitor and provide an update on the effectiveness of the boxes to the donor so that they can share this with all those who supported them. It’s the least we can do given all the effort Ron and Anne put in to build them,” Mr Gollan said.

The boxes will be monitored over several months and a report will be collated on any fauna recorded in them.

Along with providing additional habitat outcomes, Hunter Local Land Services aim to increase community awareness surrounding these threatened species, and the actions that other landholders can take to protect and improve their habitat in the future.

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