On Thursday 12th May 2016, an arborist (Treetec Arboriculture & Ecology, cut chainsaw hollows into trees at the reserve to provide habitat for gliders and microbats, and to collect data on the usage of hollows as part of a Latobe University research project.

Fourteen (14) glider hollows were cut, and about forty (40) bat cavities cut. The following photos show the making of a glider hollow.

chainsaw hollow   

chainsaw hollow   

chainsaw hollow

chainsaw hollow   

chainsaw hollow   

chainsaw hollow

chainsaw hollow   

chainsaw hollow   
glider hollow and bat cavity below-right
chainsaw hollow   
Hollow 18 months later

Photos: Steve Griffiths.
Read the Fairfax (The Age & Sydney Morning Herald) article on the chainsaw hollows.
the full paper of the chainsaw hollows research
and the updated paper (2021) on the research
A recent camera survey (January 2017) of the hollows captured a sugar glider...

sugar glider

and a rosella looking for a home...


12 May 2017 - Kristin checked the chain saw hollows with a pole mounted camera and found a sugar glider in a tree hollow within the billabong floor...

sugar glider

17 September 2018 - A chain saw hollows check found a rat (bush rat?) in a tree hollow in the western woodland...

bush? rat

30 October 2019 - Chainsaw hollow check; sugar glider found in 1 hollow, some lorikeet feathers in another couple.


nest box nest box When I decided to install nest boxes, I checked around on the web for designs, and taking into consideration my observations of the batboxes at Wilson reserve, came up with the following variations to the standard designs...

The lid is covered with plastic 'dampcourse' ('Plascourse' is one brand) which acts as a hinge, waterproofs the lid and top of the box, and forms an 'anti-mynah' flap - and is cheaper than hinges! I used button head screws to attach the dampcourse to the lid and backplate.

Because the plastic is not as rigid as a hinge, the lid needs to have some way of keeping it in the correct position; I have used a small screw under the lid which fits inside the box front - an alternative would be a piece of wood that fits neatly inside the box top.

A hint that I picked up on another website is to drill a hole in the top of the back plate for a bullet head nail. Hammer a bullet head nail into the tree at the height you want the box, and then hang the box on the nail while you fasten it to the tree with whatever method you have chosen. I used 75mm screws for fastening. It makes the job much easier and safer.

Five sugar glider boxes and one small parrot box have been installed.

I will update in a few months time.

Stanley Barker
25 September 2013

Update - 26 January 2014.
The nest boxes have only been used by Gould's wattled bats so far, with an unbanded male in the parrot box in December and bat droppings in a glider box.


native bee roost I had noticed some native bees around the reserve, so I checked around on the web for information. After looking at a number of designs, came up with a capped 90mm PVC pipe filled with plastic drinking straws. Two tubes have been installed on different trees on 25 January 2014. I also plan on a wooden roost with hollows 200 - 300mm long and varying between 4 and 10 mm in diameter.

SB - 26 January 2014

On 8 December 2023 we surveyed nestboxes which had been placed around the reserve.

Pic 1 - Bruswh tail possum
Pic 1
Pic 3 sugar glider
Pic 3
Pic 7 Possum with bee comb
Pic 7
Pic 10 sugar glider
Pic 10
Pic 11 Kookaburra nest with eggs
Pic 11
Pic 12 Brush tail possum
Pic 12
Pic 16 sugar glider nest
Pic 16
Pic 17 Bees
Pic 17
Pic 18 ?
Pic 18
Pic 19 Maybe unused
Pic 19
Pic 21 Maybe unused
Pic 21
Pic 22 John with pole camers
Pic 22
Pic 23 Kookaburra egg
Pic 23
Pic 27 Pardalote nestbox
Pic 27
Pic 33 Kookaburra box with possum
Pic 33
Pic 36 sugar glider
Pic 36
Pic 38 Pardalote nestbox showing signs of flood
Pic 38
Pic 40 Lorakeet nest
Pic 40
Pic 43 sugar glider nest
Pic 43
Pic 44 sugar glider nest
Pic 44
Pic 50 Kookaburra box with possum
Pic 50
Pic 51 nest
Pic 51
Pic 52 nest
Pic 52
Pic 54 Kookaburra box with possum
Pic 54
Pic 59 Pardalote nestbox
Pic 59
Pic 60 Pardalote nestbox
Pic 60
Most boxes had evidence of being used, while some were currently occupied. Two had bee colonies and there were 2 kookaburra boxes with eggs and a kookaburra left one just before the camera.