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Substitutes for hollow trees

New home: Creatures looking for alternative accommodation after bushfire wiped out their abodes may be in for some luck.Photo: Susan McLeod, Nest Boxes Australia.

New home: Creatures looking for alternative accommodation after bushfire wiped out their abodes may be in for some luck.Photo: Susan McLeod, Nest Boxes Australia.

Granite Borders Landcare is kick starting a program to provide nest boxes for a range of native animal species in fire-affected areas around Tenterfield Shire, to help support the growth of populations lost in the bushfires.

The initiative is being funded through the Australian Government's Communities Environment Program, and starts with a Nesting Box Information Session on Thursday, April 2 at the Landcare Office at 45 Martin St, Tenterfield from 9am to 12.30pm.

Nest boxes can never replace an old growth tree with its diversity of hollows, but they can provide a benefit for some wildlife species in areas where these trees have been lost.

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Guest speaker Wendy Hawes is an Inverell-based ecologist with more than 25 years' experience in local fauna and habitat on farms.

Wendy will be talking about how to develop a wildlife box program with the right mix of boxes depending on habitat and food sources, as well as the construction, installation and monitoring of nesting boxes.

Workshop participants who have been impacted by last year's bush fires will be eligible to submit an Expression of Interest to receive two free nesting boxes to install on their own properties with further boxes being available at discounted prices.

Overall Landcare will provide a minimum of 100 nesting boxes with the majority of boxes for the smaller taxa in keeping with the natural balance of hollow formation and larger boxes where suitable habitat is present.

"The initiative involves installing more than 10 different styles of nest boxes of varying sizes and shapes for hollow-dependent wildlife including possums, pygmy possums, micro bats, gliders, parrots, cockatoos, kingfishers and large forest owls," Granite Borders Landcare Project Manager Mandy Craig said.

It is hoped that through this project Landcare can further support the community's involvement in natural resource management and in particular assist fire affected landholders to continue to restore their properties.

The information session is free and morning tea will be provided. RSVP by Monday March 30 by phoning the Granite Borders Landcare on (02) 6736 3500 or emailing landcare@gblc.org.au.

This information session follows a field day hosted by Granite Borders Landcare at Cooredulla last Friday on pasture management strategies following drought and fires.

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