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Creating hollows for wildlife

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G'day wildlife lovers!

We are Louis and Kiara. We are volunteer wildlife rescuers and rehabilitators, passionate wildlife biologists, and conservationists. We need your help to support our native animals.

Did you know that globally, Australia ranks top in wildlife extinction rates and has caused the extinction of more mammals than any other nation? [1]

This is largely caused by habitat destruction (amongst other things), especially of old-growth trees.

Over the last ten years, the Federal Government has knowingly approved the destruction of more than 200,000 hectares of habitat, home to over 400 unique threatened IUCN-listed species [2]. And the rate of destruction is increasing (For more information and public data, see here and here).

To make matters worse, many Australian native animals have very unique housing requirements: They only nest in tree hollows. More than 300 vertebrate species, accounting for 17% of all Australian land birds, 42% of land mammals and 28% of reptiles depend on tree hollows for survival [3,4].

Natural tree hollows take at least 100 years to form (longer for bigger hollows) [5], and due to the targeted removal of the largest trees since colonisation, there is a huge shortage of hollows. Replanting trees can not make up for the destruction of established nest hollows in old trees because of the slow development of hollows. The installation of artificial nest boxes provides a temporary fix. However, these need upkeep and typically last about 10-20 years. Furthermore, they have been shown to fluctuate strongly in temperature [6,7], unlike natural hollows.

This is where the HollowHog comes in. An innovative Australian conservation scientist invented this handy tool (watch the video!). The tool can safely create internal cavities (hollows) in trees through small, customisable entry holes to target specific species. The benefit is two-fold: not only does the HollowHog create immediate habitat for hollow-dependent species, but it also accelerates the natural hollow-forming process by ~70 years.

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We are crowdfunding to purchase:
  • a HollowHog tool,
  • relevant training and
  • all the relevant kit (a generator, grinder, dust extractor, and safety equipment)
To start making hollows in and around our community on the Central Coast of NSW.

We sincerely thank everyone for supporting us and contributing to the project. If you have any questions or (pending funding) want us to create a hollow for you, please contact us.

We will post updates on progress as we go!

Photo caption: This is us with two possums we raised, orphaned at a young age from habitat destruction; photo credit Doug Gimesy


1. Woinarski JCZ, Burbidge AA, Harrison PL. 2015 Ongoing unraveling of a continental fauna: Decline and extinction of Australian mammals since European settlement. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A.
2. ACF. 2022 Aggrevating extinction investigation: How the Australian government approves the destruction of threatened species habitat.
3. Gibbons P, Lindenmayer DB. 1997 Developing tree retention strategies for hollow-dependent arboreal marsupials in the wood production eucalypt forests of eastern australia. Aust. For.
4. Gibbons P, Lindenmayer DB, Barry SC, Tanton MT. 2002 Hollow selection by vertebrate fauna in forests of southeastern Australia and implications for forest management. Biol. Conserv.
5. Gibbons P, Lindenmayer DB, Barry SC, Tanton MT. 2000 Hollow formation in eucalypts from temperate forests in Southeastern Australia. Pacific Conserv. Biol.
6. Rowland JA, Briscoe NJ, Handasyde KA. 2017 Comparing the thermal suitability of nest-boxes and tree-hollows for the conservation-management of arboreal marsupials. Biol. Conserv.
7. Griffiths SR, Lentini PE, Semmens K, Watson SJ, Lumsden LF, Robert KA. 2018 Chainsaw-carved cavities better mimic the thermal properties of natural tree hollows than nest boxes and log hollows. Forests

Fundraising team (2)

Kiara L'Herpiniere
Organizer
Pearl Beach NSW
Louis O'Neill
Team member

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