A once degraded site near Nathalia that was direct seeded with native trees and shrubs in 2003 has attracted a family of Sugar Gliders.
Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) River Health Projects Coordinator Jim Castles said the direct seeding was done at a site near the Broken Creek to provide habitat for birds and other native fauna in the area.
“The site had a few scattered River Red Gums, some mature Grey Box Trees in one corner and a bad weed and rabbit problem, but we could see the potential for habitat rehabilitation because it is very close to some excellent quality native vegetation on the Broken Creek,” Mr Castles said.
“Weed control and rabbit control was done and the direct seeding was carried out in spring during a very dry year, so it is amazing that the direct seeding was so successful. The trees and shrubs really have taken off, and the bird diversity has increased at the site as a result.”
Mr Castles said the Broken Boosey Conservation Management Network (CMN) then worked with a Goulburn Broken CMA Drought Employment Program Crew to place seven next boxes at the site in 2008.
“The Drought Employment Program Crew managed to install 407 Squirrel/Sugar Glider nest boxes along the Broken Creek and in nearby reserves in less than 3 months, which was an excellent effort,” he said.
“All 407 nest boxes were checked in 2010 to see if they were being used by native fauna, but the nest box the gliders were found in recently could not be located because of the height of the trees and shrubs at the site.
“Some members of the Broken Boosey CMN committee recently rediscovered the nest box while inspecting the reserve, and they opened the lid to discover a family of Sugar Gliders huddled up inside keeping warm.”
Goulburn Broken CMA Conservation Management Network Coordinator Janice Mentiplay-Smith said the discovery was very exciting for CMN committee members, and was evidence that habitat rehabilitation projects can make a huge difference.
“The CMN has been involved in biodiversity conservation projects for around 12 years now, so it’s nice to know we are making a difference by getting people involved in the biodiversity conservation, getting works done on the ground and providing much needed habitat for threatened species,” she said.
“We hope to see similar results in the Chesney Vale Hills and Warby Ranges area, where we have just put up Turquoise Parrot nest box number 100 as part of our ‘Practical Parrot Action’ and ‘Bed and Breakfast for the Birds’ projects.”
The ‘Practical Parrot Action’ and ‘Bed and Breakfast for the Birds’ projects are supported by the Goulburn Broken CMA with funding from the Victorian Government's Communities for Nature program.
For more information about the Broken Boosey CMN Nest Box program, or the ‘Practical Parrot Action’ and ‘Bed and Breakfast for the Birds’ projects contact Janice Mentiplay-Smith on 5764 7506 / 0418316169 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the Broken Boosey Conservation Management Network visit www.brokenbooseycmn.com