IT takes an old tree to make a hollow suitable for vulnerable wildlife, but Orange City Council is working to speed the process up a little to ensure the survival of the superb parrot and other native animals.
The council has been working with Central West Councils Environment and Waterways Alliance, the Central Tablelands Local Land Services and volunteers to boost habitat.
Council spokesman Nick Redmond said during the past decade, there had been “a concerted effort” to provide more opportunities for nesting and plant extra trees in bushland around Gosling Creek Reservoir.
“The problem with some species of parrot is that they need very old trees which have hollows in them for nesting,” he said.
“A mixed strategy is being used, which has also attached nesting boxes to some trees, built artificial hollows in other trees and looked to preserve natural hollows by bringing felled tree trunks to the site.”
As well as superb parrots and crimson rosellas, species like marsupial gliders are also believed to be living in some of the artificial hollows.Council spokesman Nick Redmond
Mr Redmond said more than a hundred nesting options have been added around Gosling Creek.
“To build an artificial hollow, we’ve used a cherry picker to take a man with a chainsaw up into the tree – the chainsaw is then used to take a panel off the front of a large branch,” he said.
“An artificial hollow cavity is then cut into the tree, before the panel is replaced with an access hole for the nesting birds.”
Long-term research is under way to measure which kinds of parrots prefer to use which kind of nesting options, with the results to guide what happens in the future.
Mr Redmond said a second research project was due to start, which will investigate temperatures inside the boxes and hollows.
“Some of the parrots are very choosy about laying their eggs in a hollow which could get too hot or cold,” he said.
“As well as superb parrots and crimson rosellas, species like marsupial gliders are also believed to be living in some of the artificial hollows.”
Superb parrots are classified as vulnerable.
Residents can also get involved hosting wildlife on their properties, with resident Tony Callaghan offering free nesting boxes until Australia Day. He can be contacted on 0420 428 568.
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