Nesting boxes to bring back new life at Allendale in Blackheath

Animals are being encouraged to return to a Blackheath property hit by fire in December 2019, thanks to the installation of 33 nesting boxes.

Eighty per cent of Eva and Bill Johnstone's 3.2 hectare bushland property "Allendale" which is under a conservation agreement with the Biodiversity Conservation Trust, was wiped out by bushfire.

Funded by Greater Sydney Landcare and built by Conservation Volunteers Australia, nesting boxes were installed in January for sugar gliders, Pygmy possums, microbats, greater gliders, and other small marsupials.

Mrs Johnstone said they hadn't seen several of these animal species since the fires, and all the hollows in trees where animals would have lived, had been destroyed when the bushfire came through.

The nesting boxes were installed in a variety of locations on the property, in eucalyptus trees. Some were grouped together.

"Sugar gliders and Pygmy possums like to live in little communities of four to five, or up to six. They like to live in little villages," Mrs Johnstone said.

Federal Member for Macquarie Susan Templeman visited the Johnstones property to view the recovery efforts and acknowledge the work done through Landcare and local communities.

While visiting the site, Ms Templeman reminded people that while "the fires may seem like old news, they are fresh in the minds of the Blackheath and Blue Mountains communities".

"The work of local people, neighbours and land carers in the recovery process is vital. By installing these homes for habitat; it delivers safe places for the recovery of gliders, micro bats, birds and other unique Australian wildlife," Ms Templeman said.

Mrs Johnstone plans to set up motion sensor cameras at three locations so she can unobtrusively check in on how the nesting boxes are being used.

"There's so much that we don't know about the life of our own wildlife," Mrs Johnstone said.

"Maybe the nesting boxes will also be taken up by rosellas and king parrots."


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