Waranga News

Whroo Goldfields nest box monitoring

2017-07-20

Whroo Goldfields nest box monitoring image

In 2009 more than 360 nest boxes were constructed and installed in the Whroo Goldfields region by the Goulburn Broken CMA Drought Employment Program crew. There are now 1000 nest boxes installed.

The nest boxes were installed throughout the Whroo Goldfields Conservation Management Network (WGCMN) area to provide habitat for native species where there is a lack of hollow bearing trees and to provide an opportunity to carry out surveys to find populations of threatened species in areas where they had not been recorded before.

We can see what a big difference this artificial habitat makes and the keen interest and desire of local people to contribute to this success. Funding for the nest box program comes from various grants and through the generous support of Goulburn Broken CMA and Mandalay Resources.

Always looking for a new way to fund and continue this great venture, the ‘Adopt- A-Nest Box’ program was developed and managed by WGCMN President Orlando Talamo. There are currently 31 adopted nest boxes installed in the Whroo Goldfields region, each providing much needed habitat for our native marsupials, including the endangered brushtailed phascogale.

For $100 a box ($50 to share a box), members of the public can adopt their own nest box, and have their name, or names of their family members or business engraved on it. The $100 covers materials, building, installation and monitoring. Each year, a photograph is sent of any ‘residents’, to the adopter. This is a wonderful, tangible way to see what positive difference can be made for our native species.

The majority of nest boxes were installed in public forests, with others installed on private land. Monitoring (data recording and photos taken inside each nest box) is conducted by Orlando Talamo, WGCMN President and local landholder.

This year Orlando recorded a 60% use/occupation of the nest boxes. We have again seen plenty of evidence of a sugar gliders occupying phascogale nests and vice versa, which is probably an indication of the pressure on ‘tree hollow’ real estate. In some areas, we have seen an almost 100% use of the nest boxes, which demonstrates the ongoing need for safe habitat for these beautiful animals. The usual variety of bats, spiders, antechinus and insects are also taking advantage of this extra habitat.

Monitoring statistics for nest boxes - 2017

102 locations monitored (each location consisting typically of three boxes)

Total boxes monitored: 306 145 active/occupied sugar glider nests (4 disused sugar gliders nests).

45 nest boxes had sugar gliders present when photos were taken. 38 active/occupied brush-tailed phascogale nests 63 boxes occupied by insects 16 boxes had unidentified scats present

The results are outstanding, considering these are all new boxes installed for 12 months or less. Total percentage of use/ occupancy is 60%. 12% of these are brush-tailed phascogale occupations, which is a wonderful result for nest boxes installed for one year or less.

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