World-first technology is being used to rebuild natural habitats destroyed by bushfires, creating more than 800 new hollows that will provide displaced animals with a space to nest and roost.
Nationals Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole said the 2019/20 bushfires destroyed 5.5 million hectares of tree hollows that possums, gliders, micro-bats and birds use for breeding, shelter and protection.
“The catastrophic Black Summer bushfires caused extensive damage across the state and while Transport for NSW has done an incredible job to knock the road network back into shape to restore access for our regional communities, the natural habitat is still bouncing back,” Mr Toole said.
“Hollows naturally form in trees that are more than 70 years old, so losing habitat trees in a bushfire has a devastating impact on the mammals, reptiles and birds that use those hollows for shelter and breeding.
“The NSW Government has invested $165,000 to carve tree hollows using ‘Hollowhog’, a new tool that has minimal impact on the health and integrity of the tree, and is faster and less invasive than the alternative chainsaw method.
“This is the first time this technology has ever been used in the world – and I’m so excited to today release footage that shows just how much the animals are already taking a keen interest in these new hollows.”
The Hollowhog is an Australian invention by Transport for NSW Environment Officer and conservation biologist Matt Stephens, who has spent 10 years solving the problem of how to create durable homes for wildlife.
Habitat is being replaced at the following 20 locations in regional NSW:
- Glen Innes (travelling stock route),
- Port Stephens (Aboriginal protected area),
- Yarras/Mount Seaview (private property conservation areas),
- Tucabia (private property conservation areas.),
- Rappville (three private property conservation areas),
- Marengo/Nymboida (private property conservation areas) ,
- Woolgoolga (private property conservation area),
- Brooms Head (Yuraygir National Park),
- Grafton (private property conservation areas),
- Pillar Valley (two private property conservation areas),
- Adelong/ Tumut (travelling stock route),
- Adelong and Clybucca (offset property).