Last Friday, in Adelaide, Rotary launched its nestbox project called
"Robin" at Cleland Reserve in the Adelaide Hills.
The project follows two others. One entitled "the Nestbox Project' was run
by me from Flinders University in 1992,1993. From that grew an
extraordinarily successful project run by St Agnes Primary School, which
has run for 5 years and still continues strongly.
Robin has taken the results and experience of these projects and it will
involve Rotary Groups making boxes for others to install. High on the list
of target species are Glossy Black Cockatoos, down to 188 individuals,
which breed on Kangaroo Island. Last year the flock produced 16 young, one
quarter of them in large boxes made from polypipe and charred on the
outside to merge into the trees.
The Nestbox project focused on the need to preserve natural hollows in old
trees and produced results that showed, over a two-year period, invasion of
boxes by starlings was 30% and bees, 10%. St Agnes has promoted that
message strongly, or as strongly as you can in a country where most people
still have problems identifying native birds from introduced species.
As a result, Robin is emphasising the need to preserve hollows as habitat
and will only make boxes for those who will manage them against feral
animals, especially in SA, starlings and bees.
Flinders University of South Australia