Nest boxes play key role for cockatoos
ONE size does not fit all when it comes to the artificial nest boxes increasingly used to help wildlife survive in South West forests.
That was the message from Jo Burston of Maroo Wildlife Refuge when she spoke at a Landcare workshop in Bridgetown on Friday.
Possums, black cockatoos, microbats, phascogales, parrots, pardalotes and owls can all benefit from nest boxes but each needs a different design.
“Each of those animals has an individual need,” Mrs Burston said.
“Different location, different height, different things inside it.”
She said getting each of these things right was the key to success and attracting species such as endangered cockatoos to a revegetated block.
“If you don’t have old growth trees, cockatoos don’t have anywhere to nest because their hollows are huge and they need huge trees,” she said.
The Perup-based refuge regularly runs such workshops with conservation groups from Balingup to Walpole as part of its mission to preserve the region’s wildlife.
About 30 people attended the workshop at the CWA rooms in Bridgetown before moving to the Layman Street reserve to see boxes installed.
Landcare officer Cheryl Hamence said competition for natural hollows – where animals shelter and breed – was strong because old trees are no longer common.
“Hollow forming trees are estimated to be 120-250 years old and the formation of hollows in these trees can take 20-30 years,” she said.
“Artificial nesting hollows strategically placed can help alleviate the pressure on the available hollows and provide more breeding opportunities for our local birds and animals.”
Bridgetown arborist Jolyon Elliott installed boxes ranging from a small box suitable for the tiny pardalote, a native wren, to a big cylindrical box designed for a black cockatoo.
The workshop was free.
Landcare officer Cheryl Hamence speaks at a workshop about nest boxes to attract wildlife at the revegetated Layman Street reserve near the Blackwood River in Bridgetown.