26 September 2023

New Green advice for living with animals

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A western pygmy possum in a box. Photo: Elisa Sparrow.

Green Adelaide has encouraged homeowners to attract more wildlife into their neighbourhood, offering advice and information on how best to use nest boxes to make a garden rich with local native birds, possums and microbats.

According to Green Adelaide, an urban environmental specialist organisation, the start is to give the wildlife ‘somewhere safe to live in’.

It said many native birds and mammals rely on tree hollows for nesting and shelter, but unfortunately, the loss of old trees, which house these hollows, has led to a shortage.

“Tree hollows, which occur in both living and dead trees, can take hundreds of years to become suitable,” Green Adelaide said.

“Tree hollows aren’t just a place to stay safe, hidden away from predators, they also provide natural air conditioning in the scorching summer months thanks to the tree’s transpiration, and in the winter, they are warmer than the frosty outdoors,” the Organisation said.

“Without tree hollows or an alternative, some species just cannot survive, and that’s where nest boxes can come in.”

Green Adelaide said nest boxes are not simply birdhouses, as they are purpose-made for the species they intend to attract and support.

The Organisation said that although natural tree hollows are better, buying or making a nest box is a suitable alternative.

“Purchase a nest box for the species that you want to attract or consider making your own – but remember you’ll need specific dimensions, and some animals will even need things like a little ledge inside the box, below the entrance. It’s important to do your research thoroughly, the Organisation said.”

“Some local native animals you could consider trying to attract with a suitable nest box include ringtail and brushtail possums, rosellas and other parrots, ducks, spotted and striated pardalotes, kookaburras and microbats”, it said.

Green Adelaide said homeowners should consider the following six tips if they wish to encourage more wildlife into their yards.

Grow plants that are native to your suburb.

Plant species that are a range of heights.

Choose a range of native plants, so you have flowers all year round.

Manage pets responsibly e.g. keep cats indoors.

Minimise chemical use.

Provide a water source – like a regularly-cleaned bird bath.

For more information on nest boxes, visit this PS News link.

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