Restoring landscapes across the Mount Alexander Region

Nest boxes

A Tuan in a nest box (photo by Jess Lawton)

Connecting Country commenced a nest box program in the Mount Alexander region 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 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.

To download Connecting Country’s nest box monitoring strategy – click here


Our nest box monitoring program 

We inspected a subset (typically ~300 nest boxes) in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018, 2021, 2022 and 2023. We also received records from landholders and other people who have seen Tuans either using the nest boxes, or have seen them elsewhere.

To read a summary of nest box monitoring results from 2011-2014 – click here

In 2016 we completed a full survey of all nest boxes. To read about our 2016 survey – click here

Citizen science: the next chapter

  • From 2018, we started to engage volunteers to check our nest boxes, led by volunteer team leaders and coordinated by Connecting Country staff. We also collaborated with La Trobe University to analyse data from 2011 – 2018. To read a summary of the results – click here
  • To read a full scientific paper published in CSIRO’s Wildlife Research journal that used our results – click here
  • Our dedicated volunteers continued to monitor nest boxes. For details on our 2021 nest box monitoring – click here 
  • To read about our 2022 nest box montioring – click here

Keen to learn more?

To download Connecting Country’s factsheet on Nest boxes for wildlife – click here

How to get involved in nest box monitoring

  1. Download a copy of Connecting Country’s Nest box monitoring field guide – click here
  2. Complete the Nest box monitoring survey sheet and return it by email – click here
  3. Lodge your opportunistic observations of Tuans and other fauna with Connecting Country by emailing them to
  4. Visit Connecting Country’s ‘Nest box resources’ page with more information on making your own nest boxes – click here

Contact Anna (Connecting Country’s Ecological Project Officer) if you are interested in monitoring nest boxes on your own property or elsewhere. Email us at or phone  0493 362 394.