Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Habitat boxes pretty fly for Penrith fauna

Local wildlife are finding cosy new homes across eight western Sydney reserves thanks to a successful Penrith City Council conservation program.

Council’s 34 habitat boxes were designed to house a range of species, including sugar gliders, parrots, bats, possums, pardalotes and microbats. 

As part of their conservation efforts, Council installed the habitat boxes across eight reserves to combat the increased loss of habitat and old trees in the Sydney Basin Region, with reserves selected due to their native vegetation, the presence of multiple large trees, and location to housing and popular areas. 

Mayor, Todd Carney said the boxes were a complementary initiative to Council’s Bushland and Biodiversity teams’ successful efforts in seeing Penrith’s bushland and wildlife continue to thrive. 

“We’re grateful to provide additional homes and nesting opportunities for our local animals at our reserves,” Mayor Carney said. 

“It’s more important than ever that we reintroduce vegetation and replicate tree hollows to encourage our animals to nest and rest, especially when old, hollowed trees around urban areas are removed. 

“Tree hollows provide animals refuge from weather and predators and are safe sites for roosting and breeding. As they take a minimum of 100 years to form, the installation of these habitat boxes allows for the instant reintroduction of habitat for our animals, such as the sugar glider, ringtail possum, caterpillars, ants, and even huntsmen spiders,” he said. 

A sugar glider inside one of Penrith City Council’s habitat boxes.

Trained professionals carefully inspected all 34 habitat boxes via ladders or tree climbing and discovered that the boxes were used by sugar gliders, ringtail possums, potter wasps, huntsmen spiders, caterpillars, eucalypt leaf beetles, bush cockroaches, white cedar moths, ants, and parasitic wasps. 

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