Natural nest hollows
Natural tree hollows are an invaluable resource for many of Australia’s native birds and mammals. They provide shelter from the elements, protection from predators and a place to rear young. However, increasing pressure on the landscape from human activity has resulted in a rapid decline in the number of large hollow-bearing trees.
Since European settlement, over 90% of Victoria’s natural vegetation has been lost, specifically the woodland ecosystems. Timber harvesting, firewood collection, agriculture and suburban sprawl have all contributed to this loss. As a result, competition among species for the remaining hollows is high.
Nest boxes can help to alleviate this competition and promote breeding in many native species. They can be particularly valuable in areas where feeding resources remain, but nesting sites have been lost, e.g. in suburban parks and gardens. Providing shelter for these animals, both by planting and/or preserving Eucalypts and installing nest boxes, not only aids their survival but may reduce conflicts with the human population by reducing the number of animals using buildings and roofs as their homes.
Who uses nesting boxes?
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Staff and students of La Trobe University work together at the Melbourne Wildlife Sanctuary to develop the best outcomes for nesting habitats of all Australian animals. For over 20 years nesting boxes have been tried and tested in our 30 hectare facility. For a 'bird’s eye' view of some of our research, visit the our Wilidlife Cameras.