Nest boxes play key role for cock­a­toos

Manjimup-Bridgetown Times - - Times News - Karen Hunt

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.

Pic­ture: Julie Boyle

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.

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