The sound of chainsaws reverberating around the region is often bad news for many of our threatened species, but over the next month the roar of chainsaws tearing into timber will be the sound of good news for Superb Parrots.
Central Tablelands Local Land Services has partnered with the Environment & Waterways Alliance to engage an arborist to create around 200 hollows in standing trees across our region. This is being done using the hollow augmentation technique, a method where hollows are cut into standing trees to create habitat.
The Project Support Officer for the Environment & Waterways Alliance, Mr Mick Callan, says that this technique creates a much more natural hollow structure than traditional nest boxes.
“What we see with nest boxes is that many species of hollow dependent fauna choose not to use them for a variety of reasons. The hollow augmentation technique provides a much more natural hollow structure for hollow users with better insulative properties, a more natural appearance and the absence of unnatural square edges and manufactured materials not found in natural hollows.”
The hollow augmentation technique was first introduced to this region in April at a Hollows for Habitat Forum held in Orange. Prior to this event the options for creating habitat for animals that require hollows for breeding or shelter was the installation of nest boxes or simply waiting for hollows to form naturally.
“It takes around 100 years for a small hollow to form naturally in our woodland communities and around 200 to 300 years for large hollows to develop that can support large animals such as cockatoos and owls” explained Mr Callan.
“Due to historic land clearing and in many cases the absence of old, mature trees in our landscape we are witnessing a decline in the numbers and distribution of many hollow dependent species. Creating these hollows utilising the hollow augmentation technique allows us to create a solution to habitat loss in the medium to long term while revegetation plantings mature and begin to generate hollows naturally.”
The Superb Parrot project will see hollows created in the Bathurst, Blayney, Cabonne, Cowra and Orange Local Government Areas with all of these Councils partnering in the project. In coming weeks these Councils, as well as Local Land Services offices across the region, will be distributing educational materials relating to the Superb Parrot including stickers and brochures.
Additionally, revegetation works will be happening with trees being planted across the project region in the aim of creating habitat in the long term.
“Trees selected for this project are known hollow bearing species that are used by the Superb Parrot” said Land Services Officer, Miss Clare Kerr of Central Tablelands Local Land Services.
“As the project manager for the Planning for Climate Change project at Central Tablelands Local Land Services, I am enthusiastic about the prospect of these trees being planted in current areas of Superb Parrot distribution, but also to the east of their current range to account for climate change projections over the period in which these trees will mature.”
This project is supported by the NSW Government through their Catchment Action Program and is addressing listed threats to the Superb Parrot including:
· Loss of living and dead hollow bearing trees
· Loss of breeding and foraging habitat
· Poor regeneration of nesting trees and food resources
· Feeding on grain spills and subsequently being struck by vehicles
If you have seen Superb Parrots in your area and would like to become involved in a Citizen Science project, please visit the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage website: https://engage.environment.nsw.gov.au/superb-parrot