Wunghnu timber used for nest boxes for Turquoise parrots in the Warbys

Friday 25 July, 2014
Timber salvaged after the Wunghnu-Numurkah fires in February will be used to provide nest boxes for the threatened Turquoise Parrots in the Warby Ranges.

The Practical Parrot Action – Protecting Turquoise Parrots project is a Communities for Nature funded project undertaken by the Broken Boosey Conservation Management Network (CMN). The CMN stretches from the Warby Ranges to Barmah and down to Dookie and the Winton Wetlands.

Broken-Boosey CMN Co-ordinator Janice Mentiplay-Smith said Moira Shire Council and the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) arranged for their Fruit Industry Employment Program (FIEP) crews to select hollow limbs from fire-salvaged timber stored at a local farmer’s property in Wunghnu.

“The Turquoise Parrot is a woodland bird under threat so we are working to protect a population found in the Warby Ranges by building and installing 100 nest boxes,” Ms Mentiplay-Smith said. “While the Turquoise Parrot is a very adaptable little bird - it has ‘learned’ to eat weed seeds such as heliotrope, capeweed, fat hen and wireweed in the absence of the native peas and grasses it would have once fed on - the big problem for Turquoise parrots is a lack of suitable nesting hollows in trees.  The nest boxes that have been built are a terrific artificial habitat but do not have the same insulation properties as real hollows, so when we heard that there was a pile of logs available to provide ‘real’ hollows for Turquoise parrots we grabbed the opportunity.”

A stack of hollows to be used for Turquoise parrots.

To suit Turquoise parrots, hollows need to have an entry hole around 40mm in diameter and to be about 800mm deep.

“The small entry hole means they and their chicks are safe from predatory birds with long legs.”

Ms Mentiplay-Smith said the Practical Parrot Action project was a wonderful way to engage with landholders, learn more about the bird’s habits, and to find out where the birds are. 

“Like most of the projects we do, we learn so much of our information from landholders – without them the project wouldn’t have flourished like it has,” she said.

“Many landholders are keen to have nest boxes on their properties; more than we can supply.  However, with this salvaged timber, we can now include more landholders in the project.”

Ms Mentiplay-Smtih thanked the Moira Shire Council, Goulburn Broken CMA and the FIEP crews for their support.

“The FIEP crews were fantastic – we would not have been able to source that amount of extra hollows without their hard work,” she said.

Goulburn Broken CMA Strategic Landscape Planner Dr Jenny Wilson said it was important for landholders to leave fallen logs and timber on their properties, particularly hollow logs of all sizes, to provide vital habitat for local wildlife, such as goannas, echidnas and small marsupials like antechinus and dunnarts.

 “It’s terrific that this fallen timber from the fires has been kept,” Dr Wilson said.  “We plan to use more of it for other revegetation and remnant protections sites - as well as creek and river re-snagging - across the Goulburn Broken Catchment.”

For more information about the Practical Parrot Action Project visit www.brokenbooseycmn.com

For more information about the benefits of hollows and fallen timber visit www.gbcma.vic.gov.au

The Goulburn Broken CMA acknowledges and respects First Nations people and the deep connection they have with their land and waters.

We acknowledge the Yorta Yorta and Taungurung people and their ancestors/forbears as Traditional Owners of the land and waters in the Goulburn Broken Catchment (and beyond). We value our ongoing partnerships with Yorta Yorta Nation Aboriginal Corporation and Taungurung Land and Waters Council for the health of Country and its people.

We pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging and acknowledge and recognise the primacy of Traditional Owners obligations, rights and responsibilities to use and care for their traditional lands and waters.

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