Hasting Hollows Project to bring species back from the brink

Threatened species in the Hastings region will now be better supported back to recovery thanks to a project led by Hastings Landcare.

Hollows in the Hastings, funded by the Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grant Program funding, will help install 190 nest boxes and hollows across 19 different properties in the region.

Camera monitoring and data analysis of species occupying the hollows will help guide future installations says Hastings Local Landcare Coordinator Stephen Allwood.

“Threatened species recovery is a slow process, particularly for hollow dwelling species. Hollows can take up to and over 100 years to naturally form, so nest boxes and artificial hollows will help recovery efforts in areas where many old growth trees were lost during the bushfires.

“The loss of hollow bearing trees is listed as a key threatening process in NSW with additional contributing factors to the ongoing loss of hollows including bushfires, development, land clearing and forest harvesting,” says Stephen.

“This project will help support threatened owl species such as the powerful owl, masked owl, sooty owl and barking owl while our smaller ‘prey’ boxes have the potential to help additional threatened species such as yellow-bellied glider, squirrel glider, greater glider and micro bat species.

“We are looking for landholders interested in taking part in the project and installing nest boxes on their properties to support native populations.”

Hastings Birdwatchers Representative, Sue Proust, says the project is about supporting habitat and providing education about local species.

“This project is a fantastic opportunity to not only create vital habitat but create greater awareness of the significance of natural hollows and the need to preserve them. Large hollows suitable for owl species can take hundreds of years to form!” said Sue.

Charles Sturt University (CSU) Environmental Scientist, Dr Alexandra Knight, says the collaboration between Hastings Landcare, its wider network and CSU will help understand and support the species who use the boxes.

“Understanding the thermal properties of nest boxes greatly contributes to effectiveness and use by wildlife. I look forward to working with Hastings Landcare and building our relationship to better support local wildlife back to recovery.”

The Hastings Hollows Project is part of a wider project across the North Coast where hollows will be monitored by Landcare groups to establish valuable data, improve future nest box projects and provide significant information on particular species.

This Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Project has been supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery Program for Wildlife and their Habitat.

If you are interested in being involved in this project, Expressions of Interest will be open very soon. For more information, please contact Hastings Landcare on 0467864465.

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