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Forum Highlights the Plight of "Homeless" Native Species


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Forum Highlights the Plight of "Homeless" Native Species

Mick Callan

A packed Hollows for Habitat Forum has highlighted the plight of tree hollow-dependent native species, and also inspired hope that properly managed rehabilitation and restoration projects will ensure our special native birds and animals aren’t left homeless.

The Forum was held at the Orange Agricultural Institute to educate landholders, Local Government, Aboriginal Communities, and Landcare groups about the significance of hollows for native fauna to shelter and raise their young, and best management practices for rehabilitation and restoration projects of natural habitat.

According to Mick Callan from Local Land Services, the keynote presentation by ‘Birdlife Australia’ editor, Sean Dooley set the tone for the day.

“Sean’s presentation was funny, engaging, and concerning, but overall full of hope for the future. Sean has a thorough understanding of the plight of native birdlife and extensive knowledge of the great work being done across the country to protect and restore natural habitat,” said Mick.

An extensive array of expert speakers discussed a whole host of topics including nest box construction, installation and maintenance, and plant selection for revegetation.

There was an emphasis on the importance of protecting existing hollows and mature trees across the landscape, and the management of feral species including hollow invaders and predatory animals.  The detailed requirements of individual hollow dependent species such as bats, gliders and birds, were also discussed.

Other topics included local case studies from the Cowra Woodland Birds project, the Glideways program and Orange City Council looking at what can be achieved by engaging volunteers to supply and monitor nest boxes in nature reserves.

“The key themes to come out of the day included the importance of partnerships and networking for sharing knowledge and resources, the need to link habitat throughout the landscape, and the importance of long term monitoring and management,” reported Mick Callan.

“It was also made clear that improving habitat for flagship species has the potential to benefit a much wider range of fauna.”

A live chainsaw demonstration of hollow augmentation technique by local arborist Oliver Schoemark Tree Services was a highlight of the event, with Oliver showing how artificial hollows can be cut into standing trees to provide a more natural and durable hollow than an artificial nest box.

Reg Kidd, from the Central Tablelands Local land Services Board, described the event as a great example of the collaboration that Central Tablelands Local land Services strives to achieve.

“The partnership with the Central West Environment and Waterways Alliance and the support from Orange City Council, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, Landcare, and the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative, created an opportunity for attendees to gain knowledge, make contacts and hopefully be inspired to work with our staff to improve the wonderful natural resources that our region has to offer,” said Reg.

Event organizers anticipate the forum will lead to a noticeable increase in the number and range of projects across the Central tablelands region aimed at improving habitat for hollow dependent species.

The event was organised by Central Tablelands Local Land Services in partnership with Central West Councils Environment & Waterways Alliance. 

For more information about the forum contact Mick Callan, Project Support Officer with the Environment & Waterways Alliance on mob: 0400 968 201 email: