Connecting Country commenced the nest box program in the Mount Alexander shire and surrounds in mid-2010 and since then has installed over 450 boxes in private and public land. The nest boxes have been designed specifically for use by the threatened Brush-tailed Phascogale (also known as the Tuan), which is a nocturnal hollow-dependent marsupial that occurs in the local area.
The nest boxes provide supplementary habitat for the Tuans and other native animals such as the Sugar Glider. It is anticipated that the provision of additional nesting sites, albeit artificial, will lead to an increase in local Tuan populations and distribution.
The nest boxes are also located across the landscape systematically so that we can examine some of the factors that might influence whether they are being used by Tuans or other animals.
Nest Box Monitoring Results
In Autumn 2011, 255 boxes were inspected by Connecting Country at 85 locations and, in both Autumn 2012 and Autumn 2014, 300 boxes were inspected at 100 locations. We also received records from landholders and other persons who have seen Tuans either using the nest boxes, or have seen them elsewhere.
A fold out brochure summarising the data from the first two years of nest box monitoring – 2011 and 2013 – is available here (best viewed in A3 size – outer and inner pages).
A further summary report was prepared after the 2014 surveys (click here).
In 2016 we completed a full survey of all boxes – CLICK HERE to read our thrilling results!
If you would like to get involved in nest box monitoring:
- Click here to download a copy of the Nest Box Monitoring and Tuan Identification Guide
- Download the Nest Box Monitoring Data Sheet, which can be returned to Connecting Country when completed (PDF and Word versions)
- Lodge your opportunistic observations of Tuans and other fauna with Connecting Country by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Click here for more information on making your own next boxes.
Contact Chris if you are interested in monitoring nest boxes on your own property or elsewhere (email@example.com or 03 5472 1594).
Here are links to past blogs by CC about Tuans and Nest Boxes:
2016 nest box surveys – what’s a Tuan? – click here
Results of the 2014 surveys with landholder videos – click here
In the lead-up to the 2014 nest box surveys – click here
Research collaboration with Deakin Uni in 2012 – click here
2013 Nest Box Installation in Pilchers Bridge by Trust for Nature – click here