Wild Habitats Inc. has been successful in obtaining a significant environmental grant to further improve the habitat value of Terrum-bine Reserve Gordon by creating manmade “natural” hollows. There is a shortage of natural hollows because they usually only form in trees that are at least 100 years old. Many Australian native animals need hollows to reproduce (42% of mammals, 17% of birds, and 28% of reptiles) so there is fierce competition for them. The manmade “natural” hollows mimic natural hollows – they are concealed, well insulated and they don’t fall apart, unlike regular nest boxes which require maintenance when the bottoms and tops fall off. They are created by skilled arborists. The work is dangerous, carving trees with a chainsaw while hanging from ropes in a tree.
Terrum-bine Reserve is an endangered ecological community (Sydney Turpentine Ironbark forest). It is rich in biodiversity and home to several endangered species of native animals which is surprising given the proximity to suburbia. There is less than 2% of this remnant forest remaining after two centuries of logging and clearing for housing and roads.
Terrum-bine Reserve has been looked after by volunteer Bushcarers for over 25 years, so is in excellent condition with nearly 100 different native animals and 200 different species of native plants recorded. The reserve was hard hit by the tornedo that ripped through Killara and Gordon late November 2019. Hence, this project will increase opportunities for targeted species to regenerate.
Our heartfelt gratitude goes to the Federal Government for supporting this important project under the Communities Environment Program.