Saturday 16th Mar, until Sunday 19th May
REGENT HONEYEATER PROJECT GLIDER SURVEYS
Nest Boxes for Rare Species
Our nest box program has been in operation for over 13 years now and we’d love to invite you to join us as we do our annual monitoring work. We have 381 boxes already in place, with Squirrel Gliders and Sugar Gliders nesting in about ⅔ of them!
We’ re also finding more and more stringybark nests of the rare Brush-tailed Phascogale, so we’re hoping to see some of them face to face when we go checking this year!
Why do we need nest boxes?
The basic problem facing all of these animals is an extreme shortage of natural tree hollows, because the old trees were heavily cleared decades ago, and the regrowth forests are still far too young to have many hollows.
New boxes to place
As well as checking the older boxes, we’ll also be placing some new boxes to help the animals move around the district in search of better food reserves. This is critical for breeding females, as they need the best food to provide enough milk for their babies.
The extra boxes will also provide crucial shelter for juvenile gliders when they leave their parents' territories at the start of the next breeding season.
Why check them every year?
Regular checking is important so that we can find the extent of local populations, the habitats they prefer, the breeding success of particular colonies, and barriers to their movement across the landscape.
We also need to get accurate reports of unwanted species (such as feral bees) taking over our boxes, so that we can remove them at a later date.
The boxes are a virtual "motel chain" of safe havens all across the district!
What do the results tell us?
Results from several years have given conclusive evidence that gliders need the fertile soils along creeks to breed successfully. Our records also show that gliders move out of the dry hills down to the creeks every summer, and they absolutely need continuous corridors to do this safely.
So any major breaks in the tree cover along roadsides or creeks become serious barriers to glider populations. Isolated 'islands' of habitat have proven empty, because gliders are taken by predators and there are no possibilities for replacement! Solid information like this makes it possible to know what needs doing and also where to do it to make the most difference.
Possum boxes for mistletoe control
We will also monitor 30 extra boxes that were specifically designed for Common Ring-Tail and Brush-tail Possums. These boxes are all located in heavy mistletoe infestations to re-establish a population of these hungry possums as a natural biological control for mistletoe.
Most of the box locations have been recorded by GPS, so visiting groups can find the boxes more easily. At the very least, it will help confirm your location if you are a bit uncertain.
Please use GDA 1994 co-ordinates to ensure you are at the correct nest box. Look for UTM/UTS WGS 84 in your GPS menu.
These weekends provide an excellent opportunity for bush walkers to practise their map reading and navigation skills while looking for the nest boxes. The sites are all mapped carefully on 1:25,000 contour maps and brief access and location descriptions.
-Checking nest boxes to see the wildlife at home
-Recording data for our ongoing research investigations
-Sharing insights from our day's observations
-Spotlighting wildlife after dark (if suitable conditions)
-BBQ tea (BYO food and drink)
-BYO lunch & drinks for Sat & Sun, we are out all day
-BYO food and drink for the Saturday night BBQ
Free accommodation at Benalla Scout Hall if needed
-BYO sleeping bag & pillow
-Minor kitchen facilities available
-BYO tent if you prefer to camp outside
9.30 am Sat Dept Sustain & Envir, Sydney Rd, Benalla
6.00 pm Sat BBQ at Lake Benalla, beside Shire Offices, Fawckner Dve
9.00 am Sun Dept Sustain & Envir, Sydney Rd, Benalla
Do come and join us. It’s the perfect opportunity to see these beautiful little animals up close, and the data collected will help us refine our habitat works.
It’s also a great way to meet some new people, while you’re all having some fun together in the great outdoors.
-Sun screen, hat, sturdy shoes, long trousers
-Sock protectors to keep out grass seeds
-GPS unit for easy location of boxes (if you have one)
Please let me know if you can bring any extra equip eg:
• 5-6 metre extension ladder
• Roof rack & rope to carry ladder
• Tow ball to carry a ladder on a trailer
Please let me know the number of people expected and any of the extra group equipment you can supply
ph 03) 57 611 515 firstname.lastname@example.org