Nine people got busy sawing, planing, drilling and painting at the Sugar Glider Nest Box Building Workshop in Bega last week. Local carpenter Jo Saccomani led novices and more experienced woodworkers for a day of productive nest box making at the Two Sheds Workshop.
A grandfather and his 8 year old grand daughter built a box together and are looking forward to installing it and checking for signs of use. A school teacher came to learn how to build boxes so she can build more habitat boxes with her students. Another participant from the Barrabaroo Landcare Group said “It was an absolutely wonderful day. I learnt so much.”
With the number of tree hollows rapidly declining over the last 200 years, many of the native species that rely on these hollows for breeding and shelter are at risk or are unable to inhabit or move across large parts of the landscape. The loss of these species in many areas means a loss of natural pest control in forests and on farms. For example, Sugar Gliders are a major predator of Christmas Beetles which can defoliate native trees, leading to dieback.
Many farmers in the Bega Valley Shire have planted shelter belts and corridors across their properties over the last few years. However, with eucalypts taking up to 100 years to form hollows, providing nest boxes is a way of bringing native fauna back to these areas sooner.
Participants have taken home their boxes to install on their properties and will be monitoring them for signs of use over the next few months. Signs will include leaf litter placed in the boxes as the Gliders build their nests and Gliders leaving the boxes at dusk for feeding. The hinged lids on the next boxes also allow people to check inside for inhabitants and to undertake maintenance.
The CMN will keep you posted about what goes on in the boxes and hopes to run a similar day soon, for those who missed out on such a fun event.