Travelling workers build new homes for turquoise parrots

Wednesday 1 May, 2019
One hundred and eighty new homes were built for threatened turquoise parrots by members of the Victorian Mobile Landcare Group at the weekend.

Goulburn Broken CMA’s Janice Mentiplay-Smith said as its name suggested, the VMLG had no ‘fixed address’.

“Rather, the group’s members move about the state helping other environmental groups and agencies, whether it’s with tree planting, nest box monitoring, repairing signage, bird surveys or building turquoise parrot nest boxes like they did on the weekend, with the beautiful Warby Ranges in the background,” she said.

Group members worked and camped at the Boweya Community Centre, a former primary school that has been restored and turned into a hub by the community.

“It was marvellous to have such a motivated, keen group travel up from the outer eastern area of Melbourne to help us here, in the heartland of turquoise parrot country,” Ms Mentiplay-Smith said.

“A workshop like this is a great way to connect people, make friendships while learning from each other, and in the process make meaningful contributions to the environment, in a fun way.”

The turquoise parrot is a threatened species that only nests in deep hollows. Because of the loss of natural tree hollows, custom-designed nest boxes, with notches or ‘ladders’ on one side of the box so the parrots can crawl out, are placed on trees in open woodlands to provide suitable habitat.

The 180 new nest boxes will complement the 380 nest boxes already installed across the Warby Ranges/Chesney Vale area.

 Building nest boxes contributes to the Goulburn Broken CMA’s and Broken Boosey Conservation Management Network’s Nest Boxes for Neo and Villa Turquoise projects funded through the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity On-Ground Action program.

Turquoise parrots only eat seeds, so preserving habitat containing seed-bearing plants is another important part of the projects, along with revegetating key habitat areas and linking and protecting patches of remnant native vegetation.

For more information, contact Janice Mentiplay-Smith on janicem@gbcma.vic.gov.au or 5764 7506.