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Preserving hollows for habitat and creating alternative homes for native bush creatures

Orange Agricultural Institute Training Centre – Thursday 28 April

The Hollows for Habitat forum coming up in Orange will highlight the importance of preserving tree hollows in local bushland to ensure rare and endangered native creatures aren’t left homeless on the Central Tablelands.

The forum will focus on the causes of habitat loss as well as ways to engineer habitat alternatives in areas where hollows are absent.

The event has been organised by the Central West Councils Environment & Waterways Alliance, in partnership with Central Tablelands Local Land Services, Orange City Council, the NSW Office of Environment & Heritage, and the Great Eastern Ranges – Kanangra Boyd to Wyangala Link organisation.

“The forum will bring together a range of stakeholders, including Local Government, Landcare, Indigenous Communities, farmers & landholders and other community members, to learn about habitat loss and to look at solutions that can improve habitat in landscapes that lack tree hollows,” said Mick Callan, Project Support Officer with the Central West Councils Environment & Waterways Alliance.

The forum will feature presentations on nest box construction, hollow dependant mammals and birds, deterring feral birds/insects and nest box management, as well as the importance of revegetation and habitat enhancement for the future.

Sean Dooley will present the keynote presentation.  Sean is a writer for TV comedies including Hamish and Andy, an author and editor of Australian Birdlife Magazine.  Sean is also a National Birdwatching Champion who holds the record for spotting the most birds in a single calendar year as chronicled in his 2005 book, The Big Twitch.

“There will also be a practical session on hollow augmentation by a local arborist who will demonstrate how to use a chainsaw to create hollows in a standing tree by cutting out sections of timber,” said Mick Callan.

“The technique results in a more natural hollow structure for fauna to utilise and creates hollows with a much longer lifespan than artificial nest boxes.”

EVENT:          Hollows for Habitat Forum - Thursday 28 April,
DATE:            Thursday 28 April
TIME:             9:00 am – 4:00 pm
VENUE:         Orange Agricultural Institute Training Centre -  1447 Forest Road Orange

A spotlight tour and informal dinner will be held for attendees the night prior to the forum (Wednesday 27 April).  The dinner will be sponsored by Orange City Council and will begin at 6pm at the Orange Agriculture Institute Training Centre featuring Dr John Martin from the Hollows as Homes project conducted by the Australian Museum and University of Sydney.

The spotlight tour starts at 8.30pm led by Nigel Hobden (OCC) through Hinton Reserve (opposite the Orange Agricultural Institute on Forest Road) and Bloomfield Park.  These reserves contain many mature hollow bearing eucalyptus trees and artificial nest boxes that are homes for superb parrots, squirrels and sugar gliders.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own low light torch and it is hoped that some of the nocturnal inhabitants of the area will come out to say hello.

Media enquiries: Kylie Krause | 0439608370