As part of our project – Hollows for Habitat – we are running a series of tours, field trips and monitoring events. This is to see if the 50 nest boxes erected in the park are supporting microbats and birds that would normally use tree hollows.
Not a lot is known about microbats in an urban environment like Westgate Park. Even less is known about the success or otherwise of artificial nest boxes for them. Our discoveries will be collected as data, adding to meaningful knowledge about these tiny mammals and their importance to ecology.
Hollow-dependent birds such as cockatoos, parrots, lorikeets, owls, kingfishers and even pardalotes have been recorded as regular visitors to Westgate Park but do not breed there.
As the vegetation continues to grow and become more established, hollow nesting species may stay longer and potentially breed, rather than briefly visit as they presently do.
We hope our nest boxes will soon compliment this improving habitat by encouraging hollow nesting birds to breed in Westgate Park.
Our aim is to work with students and people interested in citizen science so look out for our events and subscribe to our enews if you have not already done so.
This project is funded by a grant from the Port Phillip & Westernport Catchment Management Authority, now merged with Melbourne Water.