Home is where the hol­low is

Gardening Australia - - GARDEN NEWS -

A cit­i­zen science project is help­ing sci­en­tists un­der­stand how birds and an­i­mals use tree hol­lows, and will guide coun­cils and oth­ers in pre­serv­ing and se­lect­ing suit­able species. Par­rots, pos­sums and bees are among many an­i­mals that need a hol­low to call home. As older trees are lost to ur­ban en­croach­ment and land clear­ing, com­pe­ti­tion among for­mer res­i­dents for re­main­ing hol­lows heats up.

Wildlife ecol­o­gist Dr John Martin from the Royal Botanic Gar­den Syd­ney, who leads the project, says not all hol­lows are the same.

Some are pipe-shaped, while oth­ers go deep inside a tree, and en­trances vary from a few cen­time­tres to gap­ing holes. Even ori­en­ta­tion can dic­tate noc­tur­nal or day­time use.

Reg­is­ter at hol­lowsashomes.com, then re­port ac­tiv­ity in your neigh­bour­hood trees, or even in a nest­box, to show how your wildlife is far­ing. You can also make a ros­ter with friends or fam­ily to jointly ob­serve lo­cal trees.

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