Editorial: Have you noticed any ‘older’ gums? Our feathery, furry friends need them for nesting

After you read this, you might be right in calling me a ‘greenie’ or a ‘tree hugger’, but did you know there is a decline in older trees in this town? By this I mean, big old gum trees with hollows used by bats, birds and possums nesting. In this area we have many of the latter two and most species of bats that use older trees to nest.

BOXED: Artificial nesting homes for our fauna may be the answer.

BOXED: Artificial nesting homes for our fauna may be the answer.

As the older trees are cut down for firewood or, in some cases, just fall down, it is a very long time before newly planted saplings will be old enough to have nesting hollows. There is a simple solution to help out our furry and feathered friends and that is to make artificial boxes.

It is estimated there are about 400 species of fauna that use tree hollows in Australia. Parrots, pardalotes, kookaburras, most owls plus many more rely on tree hollows to nest.

Each species varies in size, shape and breeding requirements, and has different although frequently overlapping needs that a nest box can supply. There are many trees in Crookwell that are about 50 years of age, but it isn’t until trees are around the 80-plus year mark that they form natural holes. By this stage we feel they are too dangerous to have in our backyards, and this is fully understandable.

Surely there are more people out there like me who wonder what will happen to the pretty parrots, ringtail and brushtail possums and our beautiful bat populations into the future. If you are interested in nest boxes, there will be information on these at the Crookwell Progress Association street stall on Saturday.