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New research project to address critical wildlife nesting shortage on World Wildlife Day
With housing availability not just a human challenge in Sydney, a new multi-pronged research program will identify and assess housing for native wildlife in urban areas.
Launched today - World Wildlife Day - the Hollows as Homes program is being administered by staff from the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney, Australian Museum and University of Sydney. The program aims to provide the first landscape assessment of hollow resources.
Dr John Martin, Wildlife Ecologist at Botanic Gardens & Centennial Parklands explains “clearing of native vegetation and loss of tree hollows are both key threatening processes for biodiversity in NSW.
“These threats can be even more pronounced in urban areas like Sydney where competition for limited resources is high - (such as) tree hollows.
“This project aims to educate the community on identifying trees that are acting as key habitat for hollow-dependent fauna in the Sydney Metro region and to assess characteristics associated with hollow-usage by wildlife.
“Our initial focal area is the Greater Sydney Region and we will be rolling out the program over the coming 12 months, with future plans to then extend the study into rural and agricultural lands beyond.
“The theme for World Wildlife Day in 2016 is ‘the future of wildlife is in our hands’ – and this project is a perfect citizen science project that gives simple and practical ways of making a real difference in our urban environment.
“While we have a small team coordinating the work, the success of the project will rely on the wider community getting involved.”
“Understanding the ways in which our native wildlife interact with tree hollows is the first step, then education and awareness amongst public and private landowners is crucial to the project’s success. The community will be encourage to observe and register active hollows, including which types of animals and birds respond to which types of tree species.”
The project will deliver valuable insights for urban planners and policymakers. Guidelines and recommendations for local councils and other public landowners on vegetation management practices that will encourage the conservation and availability of tree hollows for wildlife use.
The project has already gathered plenty of momentum with 13 members of the Sydney Coastal Councils Group and an additional 17 Sydney Local Councils already engaged. The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and Birdlife Australia have also provided letters of support.
This project is supported by the Sydney Coastal Councils Group, through funding from the Australian Government.
30 councils are also involved in the project and are Auburn, Bankstown, Camden, Campbelltown, Canada Bay, Canterbury, Fairfield, Holroyd, Hunters Hills, Hurstville, Kogarah, Ku-ring-gai, Lane Cove, Leichhardt, Manly, Marrickville, Mosman, North Sydney, Parramatta, Penrith, Pittwater, Randwick, Rockdale, Strathfield, Sutherland, Sydney, Warringah, Waverley, Willoughby, Woollahra. In addition, the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage and Birdlife Australia are supportive of Hollows as Homes.
A website is also being established to register hollows and report sightings. This will soon be available to access at www.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au
Images courtesy of the Royal Botanic Gardens Sydney.
14th December 2015 - NEW PUBLICATION CHARTS THE HISTORY OF ROYAL BOTANIC GARDEN SYDNEY
4th August 2015 - CURRUMBIN WILDLIFE SANCTUARY ECHIDNA FOUND SAFE AND WELL
20th November 2014 - IUCN SUMMIT DELIVERS MAJOR COMMITMENTS TO SAVE EARTH’S MOST PRECIOUS NATURAL AREAS
3rd May 2013 - CANBERRA’S WOODLANDS RESTORED AND RECONNECTED
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