MELBOURNE NEWS

Sustainability

Wildlife at home in the hollows

People holding binoculars to their faces and looking at tree tops.

Look up next time you walk through the Flagstaff Gardens or Royal Park and you might be lucky enough to see birds enjoying our new, human-made tree hollows.

Mature trees provide vital nesting spots and food sources for wildlife, so as some trees succumb to age, and as our city rapidly grows, we’re working hard to protect our feathered and furry neighbours.

Late last year, we sent out 200 volunteers armed with binoculars to study birds nesting in tree hollows at five parks across the municipality.

A bird in a tree hollow

While the City of Melbourne is home to many hollow-nesting birds, the study found only a few species nesting in parks.

We suspect this is due to a lack of suitably-sized hollows, so we’ve started to create new, human-made hollows in existing trees. We’ll see which species move in thanks to motion-detecting cameras.

Stephen Griffiths from LaTrobe University is one of the advisors for this project.

He said hollows can take more than 100 years to form naturally, but urban environments can provide great opportunities for innovative tree management and people-led conservation strategies.

‘Hollow-dependent birds and mammals are facing localised population declines in many areas across Australia where mature native trees have been removed from the landscape,’ Stephen said.

‘Mechanical creation of cavities within living trees has great potential as supplementary habitats for native hollow-dependent birds and mammals.

‘As there are still many questions to be answered, this is an exciting time to be working on this type of collaborative and proactive conservation project.’

To find out more, visit Urban Nature.

Get involved
Would you like to help us create resilient, healthy and diverse urban landscapes? Citizen Foresters help us grow our urban forest and improve urban ecology through advocacy, monitoring and research tasks. It’s also a great way to meet new people and learn new skills. To find out more, visit Citizen Forester.

Share this story

You may also like
Serene, green spaces key to urban resilience

Serene, green spaces key to urban resilience

Meet your City of Melbourne councillorsCouncillor Rohan Leppert As our city grows, serene green spaces will be more important than ever, according to Councillor Rohan Leppert. One of his favourite places to park his bike for a while and enjoy a natural setting is the...

City gardens go wild for wildlife

City gardens go wild for wildlife

Turn your balcony, backyard, community garden, school veggie patch or green rooftop into a haven for birds and bees with free advice from an expert garden guide.  Our passionate Gardens for Wildlife volunteers are on hand to help you create wildlife-friendly...

Green dreams grow with Urban Forest Fund

Green dreams grow with Urban Forest Fund

Watch wildflowers bloom on top of tram stops and see desolate concrete transformed into community gardens with support from our Urban Forest Fund grants. Trees, plants and green open spaces are essential to Melbourne. They help cool the city, reduce pollution, support...

Powerful recycling resolutions

Powerful recycling resolutions

Australians produce about 10 kg of waste per person, per week. Most of this is sent to landfill. To reduce your impact, buy only the things you really need and learn how to recycle right. Reducing the impact of waste is central to our commitment to take action on...

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the City of Melbourne by subscribing to the Melbourne newsletter.

You have successfully subscribed!