Helping hollow dependant fauna

Expanding habitat with nest boxes

Helping hollow dependant fauna

Expanding habitat with nest boxes

Making a Difference -


The issue

Hollow-bearing trees are a critical component of habitat for numerous Australian animals.  In NSW alone, 46 mammals, 81 birds, 31 reptiles and 16 frogs are dependent on hollows for shelter, roosting and breeding. Of those, 49 are listed as threatened with extinction. This is why the loss of hollow bearing trees has been listed as a Key Threatening Process in NSW.

Tree hollows take a long time to form, often over 100 years as the tree grows to maturity. Land clearing for timber, agriculture, residential and other land uses has seen the loss of large areas of habitat leading to shortage of hollows for these hollow-dependent fauna. Without hollows, the survival of these species is severely restricted.

The solution

The Border Ranges Alliance Bush Connect project has been working with the Kyogle Men’s Shed, private landholders, rural primary schools and local Landcare groups to improve habitat through installation of artificial hollows.

The Kyogle Men’s shed, working with patients in care at the Kyogle hospital, has constructed over 220 nest boxes aiming to provide homes for 13 different species of microbats, possums and birds. Boxes are being installed where forest is lacking in hollow-bearing trees. Landscape connectivity is being restored by making it easier for these species to access and use areas of habitat which is otherwise unsuitable.

This project has been supported by the NSW Environmental Trust, the Border Ranges Alliance and the Border Ranges Richmond Valley Landcare Network.

The impact

Monitoring of nest boxes installed in some of the local primary schools has excited the kids and community with rewarding results of gliders occupying the new boxes within a just few weeks of installation.

Exploring the topic of hollow dependant fauna has been further enhanced with education around the need to protect existing natural hollows both in standing trees and fallen logs along with the importance of managing invasive feral species such as Indian Myna birds that aggressively evict native species from occupation of hollows. 

Large, mature trees, particularly paddock trees are important to our regional biodiversity and are more likely to be valued and protected in small rural communities in Kyogle and Richmond Valley shires as a result of this project.

Key facts

  • 220 nest boxes
  • 13 hollow dependant species benefiting
  • 5 rural primary schools
  • 25 private landholders

Project Partners