Meet the team
Hey there from the team at Natura! We are a small boutique environmental consultancy and environmental education business based on the Gold Coast. Our business is structured as a Social Enterprise registered by Social Traders. This means that we are able to do charity by doing trade! Our team is dedicated to the protection and conservation of the environment and delivering education programs to help people of all ages connect with and learn about the wonders of our natural world. Our team members are qualified with a bachelor degree, honours degree, masters, or PhD in their specialised field of Environmental Science, which ranges from environmental management to botany, to fauna ecology and rehabilitation planning. We also have a team of experienced educators who have delivered environmental education to thousands of students and community groups over the past 10 years. We keep up to date with recent research and best practices to ensure that we lead with integrity in our fields of expertise.
Natura-Pacific operates as a social enterprise. This means that profits from consulting projects are used to enable us to work on projects like this nestbox initiative and also help us develop and deliver education and outreach programs to schools and in community at a subsidised rate. In all aspects of our work, we strive to provide an ecologically sustainable future for generations to come! You can read more about our awesome team at our website: https://www.natura-pacific.com/our-team/
IMAGE: Bastian getting ready to climb the tree for a nest-box installation.
What motivated us to start a GoFundMe campaign?
The 2019-20 bushfires have devastated around 18.6 million hectares of our country, with estimations of the number of native wildlife killed exceeding one billion! For those wildlife that have survived, they now face a challenging future where they must find ways to survive in habitat that is now damaged and fragmented, and where previously rich resources are now extremely scarce.
So our team of ecologists here in SE Qld have put their heads and hearts together to find a way to help!
Gold Coast local naturalist and wildlife photographer Neil McLeod started the ball rolling by identifying the significant difference that could be made for struggling wildlife in fire-affected areas through the supply and installation of nest-boxes. Neil has then connected with Climb a Tree and Natura-Pacific to help him make his idea a reality.
Working together with the local community, our team is now in the process of building 1,000 nest-boxes for high risk species, with the vision to see them delivered to land management and conservation groups in fire-ravaged habitat areas in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria where they are needed most - to help support wildlife populations that have been left without nesting or sheltering opportunities and whose habitats have been left fragmented and degraded. After a short hiatus due to impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have reviewed our campaign for building nest-boxes and chosen to modify to a staged approach, with smaller 'bite sized' financial goals that will allow us to adapt to recent changes and also continue our commitment to helping fire affected wildlife.
How will nest-boxes help?
More than 300 Australian animal species use tree hollows with many depending on them for survival to shelter and breed. These include some well-known Australians such the common brush-tailed possum and the sulphur-crested cockatoo, but are also critical for lesser known species like the feathertail glider and the brush-tailed phascogale. Even many reptile and amphibian species use tree hollows as shelter or breeding sites. A list of species likely to be most impacted by the fires has been released by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and Environment and includes several hollow dependant species such as the Greater Glider, the Yellow-bellied Glider and the Golden Tipped Bat. Species on this list have had at least 30% of their range burnt and in many cases much more than 30%.
Our aim for this project is to connect with not-for-profit environmental conservation organizations that are working with these impacted species or other hollow dependant species in fire affected areas that have monitoring data for the installations areas and the capacity to correctly install and monitor the nest boxes (with training and support of our team of specialist fauna consultants). We have now entered the phase of making contact with various organisations and encourage people to make contact with us if they know of an organisation that would benefit from supply of nest boxes and associated training and support in installation and monitoring techniques.
Given that a useable hollow can take 100 years or more to form, and considering the overall loss of old growth trees throughout Australia, there is already a decline in hollow-bearing trees in our country. Devastatingly the recent bushfires have now added further to this habitat loss. While nest-boxes may not be a perfect replacement for natural tree hollows, Natura-Pacific has found from our experience in building, installing and monitoring them, that nest boxes can be a successful substitute, with many different native species confirmed through monitoring programs to happily move in and use our boxes.
VIDEO: Curious gliders inspecting their new home.
So why support us in this project?
Natura-Pacific has been in operation for over 10 years, as a qualified team of experienced environmental ecologists and educators. Throughout this time, we have received recognition through a number of national and international environment and sustainability awards. Through a diversity of past and ongoing monitoring projects and staying up to date with current research, we continue to develop a grounded understanding of habitat requirements of a wide range of native wildlife species. In addition to this, for the past 4 years we have worked on developing and expanding a socially and environmentally beneficial community project in cooperation with Lendlease Communities, TAFE Queensland and Students from the Borallon Campus to design, construct and carry out regular monitoring of nest-boxes.
As part of this existing project, Natura-Pacific already facilitates the supply of materials (through corporate sponsors such as Lendlease Communities) along with nest-box design templates to TAFE students and teachers. Students then build the nest-boxes while learning carpentry skills that will help them to earn the certificate qualification. Once complete, the boxes are then installed in locations where they are most needed by our qualified field team. Given this, we have the experience, processes, facilities and infrastructure. But we want to be able to do more.
Our nest-box designs have been developed through field experience and research of existing designs and fauna requirements, by team member Bastian (Fauna Ecologist), who adds additional features to each box, such as hardwood hollows at the entrance, to make them more appealing for wildlife. Over the years we have adapted our designs as we have learned what works and what doesn’t both from a manufacturing and installation point of view and monitoring successful occupation by wildlife.
So how will we create 1,000 nest-boxes for fire-affected areas?
For this project we plan to engage our existing collaboration with TAFE Queensland Borallon Campus by supplying them with designs and other resources such as sustainably produced marine ply or recycled plastic sheeting to construct the boxes. After this they will then be painted (if deemed necessary) for added durability with paint that has been generously donated by Taubmans Professional Trade Centre in Southport, Gold Coast. In addition to this, there are also already a number of local men's shed groups and wood worker guilds coming on board to build additional nest-boxes using our templates, with construction of these already underway!
Initial funds for nest-box building were supported through the Social Enterprise, however, with each nest box costing between $32 and $65 for resources to build, we could use some help to raise the funds for the resources required to attain our goal of building 1,000 nest boxes to supply to conservation and research groups. This is no small feat! With a simple calculation it could cost $65,000 for the cost of resources alone. Recently we have reviewed our initial goal and decided to adapt with smaller bite sized goals, as we navigate the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is where you come in!
All of the funds raised in this Gofundme campaign will go towards:
· the purchase of materials
· transport and delivery of nest-boxes
In addition to this, our position as a social enterprise allows us to contribute:
· templates for a variety of nest-boxes designed to suit the specific needs of individual wildlife species
· construction and painting of nest-boxes by students and volunteers
· workshops with community and conservation groups for nest box installation
· Capacity building and educational workshops to facilitate installation
With support from our skilled collaborators, including TAFE Queensland and Students from the Borallon Campus, as well as other generous in-kind support from passionate people, we feel we have the capacity to really make a difference. We also have the certification and training to install the boxes where required or to provide guidance to not-for-profit environmental conservation organizations. All in all, we have a great vision to make a meaningful contribution to the timely recovery of our native wildlife following these bushfires.
We will work with not-for-profit conservation organisations in fire affected areas to install and monitor the nest-boxes to ensure that they are installed in safe and correct manner in areas that are appropriate and in need of habitat restoration and targeting hollow dependant species suffering significant habitat loss.
- Neil Macleod
- Taubmans Paints West Burleigh – for the top quality paint donations
- Carpenters Workshop at Elanora Uniting Church
- Woodwork and Crafts Club at St Augustines, Currumbin Waters
- TAFE Borallon Campus
- Lendlease Communities
As our nest-boxes are being built by students and volunteers under the supervision of our experienced fauna ecologists, we are able to produce quality boxes at a very low cost. To acknowledge your contribution, we will paint your name or business name on the number of boxes equivalent to your donation. In addition:
* For donations over $65 (the cost of one of our bigger boxes), you can receive live feeds to monitored nest-boxes (once installed).
** For donations over $3200, we will tailor a personalised education / capacity building workshop for you and/or your team, nominated community group or school.
VIDEO: A curious Pale Headed Rosella - will this nest-box become his new home?
Thank you so much for getting on board with this project! We are excited to be contributing to the recovery of our environment over the long term, through the construction of new homes for fire affected wildlife. Stay-tuned for more updates coming soon.
**** If you want to help or collaborate in some way, or would like to nominate a not for profit conservation group for potential nest-box installation, please contact us here: email@example.com | www.natura-pacific.com ****
Check out our reel of our nest-box monitoring videos on You Tube:
17/06/2020: After a short hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are back online. We have reviewed our campaign and adapted with smaller 'bite sized' goals, in a staged approach. Through this campaign so far, you have helped us raise enough funds for over 70 boxes, which has made a small yet significant dent in our larger goal of 1000 boxes! Thanks everyone.
05/03/2020: 18 boxes made by the Carpenters Workshop at Elanora Uniting Church delivered to Natura by Neil. Templates printed. Awaiting arrival of donated marine ply. Over $4000 in donations made.
27/02/20: More boxes built - yet to be counted. Over $2500 raised from 35 donors and over 572 social media shares. THANKS EVERYONE!
17/02/2020: Another 30 Nest-boxes have been constructed, this time by TAFE Borallon & students and are ready for painting!
12/02/2020: 13 Nest-boxes completed by the Carpenters Workshop at Elanoras Uniting Church. Painting in progress.
10/02/2020: GoFundME campaign launched
09/01/2020: A conversation between Kieran and Neil birthed the idea of building nest-boxes for wildlife in fire affected areas. Kate and Kieran discuss concept of GoFundMe campaign. Taubmans Paints West Burleigh Donate paint. Collaboration with local carpentry groups to construct boxes. Bastian refined template and sent to Neil for distribution to carpentry groups.
- Scott Turner
- James Mazey
- Sophie Freeman
- Deva Raj
Fundraising team: Team Natura for Nestboxes (8)
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