In November we joined Recon Eco to install nest boxes at project sites in Goonengerry and Upper Coopers Creek, Northern NSW. This work is part of the “Restoration and Linkages of Wilsons and Coopers Creeks” project being delivered by Goonengerry Landcare, funded by the NSW Environment Trust, and contributed to by Rainforest 4 Foundation.

Taylor installing a rear entry nest box targeting sugar gliders.

The project areas are being rehabilitated through assisted natural regeneration. The project site in Goonengerry shown below was heavily forested 200 years ago, then logged and converted into grazing paddocks. Once dairy farming became unviable in the 1970s this area became infested with lantana. The team at Northern Rivers Ecological cleared the lantana through a mix of chemical and mechanical removal. The soil left behind will contain a seed bank - in this case, pencil cedars won the day and we now have a pencil cedar forest! This is the first step in providing the shade required for secondary and late-stage plants to regenerate. 

Many mammals and birds nest in hollows in trees. These hollows only occur in mature trees. Since the project areas have very few mature trees, we can help the wildlife by installing nest boxes. This will increase the likelihood of breeding, leading to an increase in populations, which in turn will increase the amount of seed being brought into the areas. A win-win - more biodiversity overall!

We had 5 different types and sizes of nest boxes to install. These were to target a range of species including:

  • Microbats, of which there are dozens of species in the Northern Rivers region
  • Australian Owlet-nightjar (Aegotheles cristatus)
  • Southern Boobook Owl (Ninox novaehollandiae)
  • Sugar Glider (Petaurus breviceps)
  • Short-eared Brushtailed Possum (Trichosurus caninus)
  • Various hollow-dependent bird species
  • Other arboreal mammals including possums

Looking up into a microbat box.

The slits cut into the wood allow the bats to grip the wood with their claws.

Selecting an appropriate tree in Upper Coopers Creek.

Angus (Recon Eco), John (landowner), Taylor (Recon Eco), and Nicole (volunteer).

Taylor from Recon Eco with Antony and Nicole (volunteers).

We installed 20 nest boxes in two days. The volunteers learned a lot about the assisted natural regeneration process, and the biodiversity of the area. This work is made possible by:

  • NSW Government through their Environmental Trust  project – Restoration and linkage of Wilsons and Coopers Creeks
  • Goongerry Landcare Group
  • Rainforest 4 Foundation



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