Wheelie bins used to save native birds

By Sharni Hastings

A Sunshine Coast builder is creating habitats out of rubbish bins to help avoid the extinction of large bird species like the black cockatoo and sooty owl.

Tree hollows have long been essential in the protection of many native species in Australia.

But after years of deforestation, large birds are in need of new homes.

Hinterland Bush Links founder Susie Duncan said it was impossible for these homes to come naturally.

“Trees are often 200 years or older until the big cavities for breeding are actually available in the forest,” she said.

“The problem we have is that most of the forests are about 70 years in age and it’s 120 years before even the smallest of hollows begin to form.

“For much of our wildlife there’s a shortage of hollows, but particularly for those larger mammals.”

In light of this shortage, Sunshine Coast builder Paul Luthje created large nesting boxes out of old wheelie bins for the animals.

While the boxes have only been on trees for a fortnight, Mr Luthje is hopeful they will have a positive impact.

“They’ve only been up for a couple of weeks, so we haven’t had reports of animals going into them yet,” he said.

“Animals are a bit suspicious in general, but that’s the hope.”

In light of World Environment Day on June 5, Ms Duncan said Sunshine Coast residents should be aiming to make their homes as accessible to native wildlife as possible.

“It doesn’t really matter if you’re on acreage or if you just have a small spot,” she said.

“Anything you do provides stepping stones for wildlife to move through the landscape.”


Main image: A Sunshine Coast wheelie bin initiative aims to save threatened native bird species. Photo: Hinterland Bush Links Facebook

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