Microbats in mailboxes…I know what you’re thinking and no, it’s not the latest TV series on ABC Kids. Sadly it’s just one example of the desperate times facing our homeless native animals, along with Sugar Gliders in banana fronds and Feathertail Gliders in electricity boxes. So what’s this got to do with recycled timber?
Last week, our friends from the Wandiyali Restoration Trust dropped into our Fyshwick workshop with a challenge. They needed weatherproof timber just the right size for some new possum nest boxes. Fortunately, our recycled hardwood offcuts were able to be cut to size and perfectly suited the job. Caroline Larcombe and her team have since built three nest boxes with the timber and other recycled materials. These rustic possum cabins wouldn’t be out of place in a designer Instagram feed (#cabinporn). It’s no wonder occupancy rates of the nest boxes are at an all-time high.
The need for nest boxes
Although Australia’s east coast has vast tracts of native plantation timber, including Eucalypts, most of it is harvested when the trees are 60-80 years old. The natural tree hollows inhabited by native species like the Sugar Glider don’t form until the tree is about 100 years old. When combined with the increasing loss of trees to urbanisation, this leads to some pretty desperate little critters trying to live in somewhat 'B grade' accommodation. Some examples are Sugar Gliders trying to live in the fronds of banana trees; Feathertail Gliders turning up in the electricity boxes on top of power poles; and Microbats trying to sleep in mailboxes.
Far from ideal ... and is it any wonder that they end up living in house roofs!