Real estate boom for furry friends after Black Summer

By AG STAFF 29 July 2021
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Threatened species affected by the 2019–20 bushfires are setting up home in purpose-built nesting boxes on the NSW north coast.

The Black Summer bushfires destroyed many hollow-bearing trees, leaving dependent animals, such as the threatened squirrel glider, powerful owl and turquoise parrot, without safe homes for shelter and nesting.

To assist displaced animals, 111 nesting boxes have been installed in three locations – Minyumai Indigenous Protected Area, Ngunya Jargoon Indigenous Protected Area and Bundjalung National Park – in the Northern Rivers region of NSW. The NSW Government Saving our Species Program in conjunction with WWF Australia has backed the innovative project, using nest boxes designed by 2019 Wild Idea finalist WildBnB.

Image credit: Lachlan Cooper

Throughout 2021 the nests were monitored using 4G remote cameras, which have already captured some furry-faced gliders checking out the new real estate. Some have even shown signs of preparation for breeding, including a brush-tailed phascogale, as well as yellow-footed antechinuses and squirrel gilders.

Wildbnb founder, David Brook, says the project is “providing critical data in relation to both the impact of bushfires on threatened species and how best to support them during recovery”.

Image credit: Lachlan Cooper

NSW Government Saving our Species Program Principal Manager, Partnerships Tania Reid, agrees: “This data will help our experts to evaluate the effectiveness of nest boxes in providing habitat for threatened species.”