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Hollows as Homes

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Hollows as Homes launched in March 2016 and is coordinated by the Royal Botanic Garden, University of Sydney, and Australian Museum. Leichhardt Council is one of 30 Councils encouraging community participation in this project.

With the help of the community this project aims to assess the availability of tree hollows and their use by wildlife across the Sydney region.

The Hollows as Homes team wants you to report tree hollow(s) in your backyard, street, park and/or paddock through www.hollowsashomes.com. Participants will take measurements of the hollow-bearing tree(s) and periodically conduct monitoring and report wildlife using the hollow(s).

Training is available through workshops and the website. The information you provide will be used to build a picture of the location, type and number of hollows available in your local area, as well as the wildlife using these hollows.

The information will inform councils' plans to retain important habitat trees, plant future habitat trees and supplement missing habitat (e.g. small, medium or large hollows).

In urban and agricultural areas large, hollow-bearing trees are in decline, but many species of animal rely on tree hollows. In NSW, hollow-dependent species include at least 46 mammals, 81 birds, 31 reptiles and 16 frogs. Of these, 40 species are listed as threatened with extinction. This is why the ‘loss of hollow-bearing trees’ has been listed as a key threatening process.

Hollow-bearing trees in urban areas are commonly removed as a safety precaution. However a new method of cut-in hollows has been developed, which aims to safely retain trees, increasing hollow habitat which is important to conserve biodiversity. Cut-in hollows complement the established method of nest boxes.

One aim of Hollows as Homes is to collect data to inform councils' decision-making process when installing supplementary hollows to support biodiversity. Hollows as Homes therefore welcomes reports of nest boxes and cut-in hollows in addition to natural tree hollows.

For more information contact Dr Adrian Davis hollows.ashomes@gmail.com or visit facebook.com/hollowsashomes.

Hollows as Homes is supported by the Sydney Coastal Councils Group through funding from the Australian Government.

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