Next best thing to a hollow

When trees get cleared homes need to be provided.

Next best thing to a hollow

When trees get cleared homes need to be provided.

Community Participation -


The issue

People who remove old hollow bearing trees for town development and farmland endeavours may have very little concept of who might live there. Wildlife tenants may not be there at the time, but these trees are still home for native animals, some of them being migratory. There are approximately 300 native species of birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians who use tree hollows in Australia, many of them threatened.

When Narrandera Shire Council accepted a new development application for the southern side of the town there were local landholders who were shocked and disappointed at the number of large trees removed.

The solution

Narrandera Landcare successfully applied for a Riverina Local Land Services ‘Champion Landcare Group’ grant. The group produced a video for the application, demonstrating the many hours of volunteer time spent educating the community. With the grant, Narrandera Landcare group and the Local Landcare Coordinator organised a community education day on nest boxes.

Habitech are a company who have developed modular nest boxes which can be adapted to suit many local wildlife species e.g. birds, bats, gliders, possums and reptiles. They have vast industry and research experience and have been involved in many nest box workshops and community engagement in the area.

The impact

20 people from the local district came to the workshop to learn about the process of developing modular nest boxes and their mounting techniques. Positioning, location, height and size of each of the boxes was selected to attract species endemic to the area. Horizontal boxes suit Wood Ducks and Kookaburras. Vertical boxes are preferred by parrots, and the tallest box with a top entrance is for the migratory Dollarbirds.

The nest box placement sites were around the Narrandera Wetland for public education and on a local property close to the large tree removal site. Attendees were very interested in purchasing and monitoring additional nest boxes in the area.

Key facts

  • Hollows take 100 years to develop and removal of large trees destroys the homes of endangered species of wildlife.
  • Nest box location, size, access points and entrance size need to be selected carefully according to the species.

Project Partners