Hollows and nest box program

1. Overview

It’s estimated that more than 25,000 trees fell within the Yarra Ranges during the 2021 June storm, resulting in the loss of valuable tree hollows which is likely to seriously impact wildlife who rely on them for nesting and breeding.

Qualified arborists were engaged to install a variety of artificial hollows and nest boxes under the guidance of Council staff across the municipality.  These nest boxes and hollows will be monitored by environmental volunteer groups and university students to collect valuable data, which will be used to improve future nest box projects and provide information on particular species.

Watch the video below to learn about the Hollows and nest box program.

 

2. Volunteering 

TAFE/University students, local environmental groups and residents are invited to help with monitoring of nest boxes and hollows. The data collected during monitoring will be used to improve future habitat provisions for specific species.

As a volunteer you will:

• Work within a small group of volunteers.

• Monitor one site (16 nest boxes/hollows) 

• Visit your site at least 4 times per year.

Accessing sites will require a small amount of walking and it may take up to two hours to monitor and report your findings.

We currently have enough volunteers for this program.

3. Community Observations 

Community members can help the program by reporting sightings of nest boxes and hollows and any wildlife activity taking place in, or near them. By contributing your observation you’ll be helping us learn which nest boxes or hollows are being use and by what species.

Participating is easy - use our online form (below) to contribute the following information:

  1. Date, time, location
  2. Type of hollow or nest box (photos will help you choose)
  3. If you saw any wildlife in or near the hollow/nest box.
  4. Any other helpful information
  5. Photos if possible

4. Frequently asked questions

What types of nest boxes or hollows are being used?

A combination of nest boxes and artificial hollows are being used to create homes for wildlife in the Yarra Ranges. Each type has certain characteristics that make them applicable for certain species.

Traditional Nest box
A pine box which is attached to a tree. Useful in providing supplementary habitat, particularly in suburban areas, where older trees are lacking.

The Hollow hog
Arborists drill a small hole the size of a finger into the tree by using a uniquely designed drill head which does not damage the long-term health of the tree. This type of hollow mimics a natural hollow and harnesses the thermal and microbial properties of the tree.

Habitech hollow
Habitech nest boxes are 3D printed and completely modular, with a stackable design and multiple entry configurations to suit a range of species great and small. Best suited for birds and gliders.

Log hollow
A log hollow is a fallen log that has been repurposed. Using the same device as the 'hollow hog' the arborist carves a hollow into the log and the logs are then secured to a tree.

 

Why do we need these nest boxes and hollows?

Many of our region’s wildlife species rely on tree hollows for roost and nest sites including possums, Kreft's Glider, parrots, microbats, phascogales and owls.

Natural tree hollows can take over 100 years to form. It’s estimated that more than 25,000 trees fell within the Yarra Ranges municipality during the 2021 June storm, resulting in the loss of many valuable tree hollows which could have a serious impact on future species numbers.

DEECA and Yarra Ranges Council are committed to responsibly recreating essential habitat for some of our key and iconic wildlife.

 

What species will use these nest boxes and hollows?

There are over 30 local native species that rely on hollows for breeding and nesting. In particular, focus has been placed on providing hollows suitable for the threatened Gang Gang Cockatoo, Kreft's Gliders and rosellas.

Who will monitor the nest boxes and hollows for progress?

Council will work with environmental volunteer groups to collect valuable data which will be used to improve future nest box projects and provide information on particular species. We’ll also collaborate with TAFE/University students and residents to be involved in annual monitoring.

 

How many nest boxes and hollows are there?

96 nest boxes and artificial hollows will be installed across the Yarra Ranges.

 

 

How can I volunteer to monitor the nest boxes and hollows?

If you’d like to volunteer to monitor nest boxes and hollows email bushlands@yarraranges.vic.gov.au