Nest boxes for Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific HWY upgrade

Friday, 11 November, 2016

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We have been working on an exciting nest box project for Pacific Complete, on behalf of NSW Roads and Maritime Services which aims to provide nest boxes for use by a range of native animal species, as part of the Woolgoolga to Ballina Pacific Highway upgrade. We have begun installing nest boxes in trees along the highway corridor, which will provide alternative nesting and roosting places for wildlife as part of the highway upgrade.

Close to 700 nest boxes of varying sizes and shapes will be installed along the 155 km stretch of road. With over 20 different types of nest boxes, a variety of hollow-dependent wildlife will be catered for including possums, pygmy possums, microbats, gliders, parrots, cockatoo’s, kingfishers and large forest owls. The species catered for includes threatened species such as the Brush-tailed Phascogale, Squirrel Glider, Little Bent-winged Bat, Glossy Black Cockatoo and Powerful Owl.

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One of the highlights for our Coffs Harbour team was engaging and working with the local Grafton Men’s Shed, OCI Caringa (an Australian Disability Enterprise employer) and Beamer Tree Services to assist with supply and installation of the nest boxes. Grafton Men’s Shed and OCI Caringa have contributed to the provision of nest boxes for the project by constructing a range of nest boxes from locally sourced hardwood. It has been rewarding to receive positive feedback from these community groups about the project. Dean Broughton, Manager of OCI Caringa says “The team are very happy to be involved in this project and enjoy the opportunity to work on something a bit different; and to help native wildlife at the same time”. David Abrahams of Grafton Men’s Shed said “The funds generated from supplying nest boxes for this project have allowed the Mens Shed to expand and improve the facilities available at the Men’s Shed”.

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The project will also test newly developed technology in the form of nest boxes constructed from 100% recycled plastic materials, called “Cyplas” nest boxes from Hollow Log Homes, which are designed to extend the lifetime of the nest boxes to 30 years or more. Eco Logical Australia’s team of ecologists will evaluate the performance of the Cyplas boxes against the traditionally built timber nest boxes over an eight year period. It is hoped that this project will lead to improvements in the design, installation and monitoring of nest boxes that can be applied in the future to improve the alternative habitat options for hollow-dependent wildlife.

Stay tuned for outcomes from monitoring the nest boxes – we are looking forward to seeing which critters move in!

The climber shown in the photograph above is kept safe through a ‘top rope’ placed higher in the tree, which is attached to the climber’s harness, and belayed from the ground by another worker (where the other person uses their body weight to halt the climber’s fall if necessary).