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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: The use of nest boxes in urban natural vegetation remnants by vertebrate fauna

Published source details

Harper M.J., McCarthy M.A. & van der Ree R. (2005) The use of nest boxes in urban natural vegetation remnants by vertebrate fauna. Wildlife Research, 32, 509-516


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Provide artificial dens or nest boxes on trees Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A replicated study in 1993–1994 in 20 forest sites in Victoria, Australia (Harper et al. 2005) found that nest boxes were used by common brushtail possums Trichosurus vulpecula and common ringtail possums Pseudocheirus peregrinus. Over one year, common brushtail possums were detected in 43% (52) and common ringtail possums in 33% (40) of the available 120 nest boxes. The average occupancy rate of nest boxes per monthly survey was 9% for common brushtail possums and 10% for common ringtail possums. In July 2003, 120 nest boxes were installed in 20 randomly selected (from 44) forest fragments (<2 ha) within a 183-km2 study area. Boxes were of two designs (12 or 25-mm-wide plywood; 30 × 30 x 27.5 or 30 cm high), had a 10-cm diameter entrance hole and were attached to tree trunks approximately 4 m above the ground. Nest boxes were installed 50 m apart, on either side of a 100-m transect crossing the centre of each fragment. Nest box monitoring commenced eight weeks after installation and each box was inspected monthly over one year.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)