Wheat

Rushworth nest box building workshop

A recent nest box building workshop held in Rushworth resulted in the construction and installation of 40 nest boxes, which will provide much needed habitat for endangered box ironbark forest marsupials.

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) Conservation Management Network (CMN) Coordinator Janice Mentiplay-Smith said the workshop was a “hands-on” way for people to get together and build important nest box habitat for local endangered and threatened species.

“The nest box building workshop was held on Sunday 16 August at a landholder’s home in Rushworth, and 16 people managed to construct 40 nest boxes from kits supplied by the Whroo Goldfields CMN,” Ms Mentiplay-Smith said.

“It was encouraging to see 10 new faces at a Whroo Goldfields CMN event, and I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to construct, paint and install 40 nest boxes in one day.

“The nest boxes are so important in the Rushworth area, as there are virtually no old-growth trees with natural hollows to provide habitat for our native fauna.  If a Brush-tailed Phascogale, a Squirrel Glider or a Sugar Glider can’t find a natural hollow or a nest box in a tree they might be lucky to survive for a short time by living behind a piece of bark, or in a log or stump on the ground, but they are susceptible to predation by cats and foxes, and would struggle to raise a family.”

The Whroo Goldfields CMN is supported by the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority through funding from the Victorian Government.

Ms Mentiplay-Smith said Whroo Goldfields CMN President Orlando Talamo from Costerfield gave the group a short talk about the methods used to monitor nest boxes and the results of the monitoring, and spoke about the best position for the nest boxes.

“I’d like to thank Orlando who spoke to the group and helped build and install the boxes, Peter Smith who supplied the 40 nest box kits and helped with building the boxes and everyone that attended and made the day a great success,” She said.

“Orlando does a wonderful job monitoring the nest boxes each year, and nest boxes occupancy has increased to 54% in 2014, up from 48% in 2013 and 30% in 2011.  Thanks to the hard work put in by Orlando, the Whroo Goldfields CMN and the community, the nest box program now has around 600 nest boxes on public and private land.”  She said.

For more information on the Whroo Goldfields CMN and its nest box program, or for plans of nest boxes so you can build one yourself, please contact Janice Mentiplay-Smith on 5764 7506 or email janicem@gbcma.vic.gov.au

Ed, Peter and Orlando Rushworth nest box building workshop