EARTH FIRST: Thinking outside the box with displaced animal habitats

HELP IS AT HAND: The program involves the distribution of free habitat boxes to north Orange residents for displaced wildlife, like brushtail possums. Photo: FILE PHOTO
HELP IS AT HAND: The program involves the distribution of free habitat boxes to north Orange residents for displaced wildlife, like brushtail possums. Photo: FILE PHOTO

Anyone recently visiting the north Orange precinct could not help noticing the extent of urban development that is occurring. Many members of our community who have concerns about our environment are saddened by the number of large trees which have been removed.

Many of the trees which have been removed were mature eucalypts that contained habitat, shelter and breeding hollows suitable for native fauna. One Australian native marsupial which depends on hollows in old growth trees for a home is the common brushtail possum, a familiar resident.

Relocation may result in moving into another possum's territory. Possums are highly territorial, so a fight to the death is likely. Their Plan B is to take up residence in house roofs, garages or sheds, which can result in conflict with human neighbours.

Another north Orange resident which has been displaced because of old growth tree removal is the superb parrot, currently classified as being vulnerable both nationally and in NSW.

Superb parrots rely on hollows in trees for nesting sites. Removal of trees has resulted in less nesting opportunity through increased competition with other hollow-nesting birds and mammals.

Orange City Council has preserved stands of remnant bushland throughout the north Orange subdivision, and have provided a number of habitat boxes in a stand of preserved eucalypts, but more intervention of this type is necessary if displaced wildlife such as the brushtail possum and the superb parrot are to be given an alternative to the old growth habitat that has been removed.

Tony Callahan is one local resident who is very concerned about the damage to wildlife populations caused by the current scale of tree removal.

He is taking action to support our displaced wildlife by providing arboreal habitat boxes, designed to help native species such as the superb parrot and brushtail possum to survive.

The program involves the distribution of free habitat boxes to north Orange residents who share his concern for displaced wildlife and are in a position to install and monitor a habitat box.

Residents who live north of Northern Distributor Road who are interested in becoming involved in this program are asked to text their name and delivery address to 0420 428 568. Free boxes are now available and will be delivered.

Mr Callaghan says that this is a simple way of helping our wildlife overcome the loss of nesting hollows until replacement trees in newer suburbs can grow to maturity.

And hopefully the more vulnerable species will be supplemented by other popular birds and animals.

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