In 2010, Centennial’s Mandalong mine joined forces with Ecobiological, an ecological consultancy, to develop a comprehensive research program to better understand the use of nesting boxes.
150 nesting boxes have been installed along Centennial’s private haul road, joining Centennial’s Mandalong Mine to its’ Newstan operation, to replace the hollow trees that were removed during its construction.
“During construction of the haul road we removed around 90 hollow trees, which acted as habitats for fauna. To replace these habitats, we have worked with Ecobiological to determine where we should install the nesting boxes,” said Centennial’s James Wearne.
This research program is providing a more in-depth look at the nesting box system as there has been little research performed to understand what factors may influence different species to use nesting boxes.
“Since we have installed the nesting boxes and started monitoring them, we have seen some really great results, with an increase in different species using the boxes. Research shows that this is due to the design of the boxes themselves and the aspects they face (i.e. direction),” continued James.
The nesting boxes are housing a variety of fauna including possums, gliders and various bat species and are being used for shelter, rearing young and feeding.
The boxes are being monitored twice a year and also feature infra-red motion cameras to collect further information on the use and factors that may explain why they are inhabited.
“We plan to continue our research over the next five years and we anticipate the results and insights we gain will be applied across construction projects throughout a wide range of industries. We really want to put some scientific rigour around the implementation of nesting boxes so its use as a conservation management tool is enhanced,” concluded James.