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Community & Business

10 July, 2021

Threatened species

The Gilgandra Showground has recently added some artificial tree hollows to give native birds a safe and secure place to live.

By Emily Middleton

Photo via unsplash

This initiative was part of a project with the Central West Environment and Waterway Alliance, where around 17 member councils worked with other government agencies such as the Local Land Services to deliver environmental projects.

Under Australian conditions, it can take a minimum of 80-120 years for a tree hollow to form naturally, meaning native birds can struggle to find homes.  The artificial chainsaw hollows were holes cut into standing trees, made at a specific depth, width, length, and entrance hole variations to suit particular species.

Professional arborists were contracted to carry out the work, and Southern Cross University was involved in the mapping the project as well as monitoring and collecting data from each site. The arborist commented that many of the Gilgandra trees already have hollows, but they were able to find enough suitable trees to cut approximately 40 additional hollows.

The arborists were looking for a particular type of tree – large spreading dead branches in which they cut a series of narrow hollows perfect for smaller species. The project will see an additional 500 tree hollows created across the region.

There are currently 46 mammals, 81 birds, 31 reptiles and 16 frogs that are reliant on hollows for shelter and nests in NSW. These include 40 species which are listed as threatened.

Habitat destruction and collection of dead trees for firewood add to the unavailability of suitable hollows for these species.

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