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Individual study: Use of nest boxes by forest vertebrates in Gippsland: acceptance, preference and demand

Published source details

Menkhorst P.W. (1984) Use of nest boxes by forest vertebrates in Gippsland: acceptance, preference and demand. Wildlife Research, 11, 255-264


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 1977–1980 in two forest sites in Victoria, Australia (Menkhorst 1984) found that nest boxes were used by brown antechinus Antechinus stuartii, bobucks Trichosurus caninus, feathertail gliders Acrobates pygmaeus, sugar gliders Petaurus breviceps and greater gliders Petauroides volans. Out of the total of 240 nest boxes across the two sites, brown antechinus used 13 (5%), bobucks used seven (3%), feathertail gliders used 20 (8%), sugar gliders used 16 (7%) and greater gliders used one (<1%). Preference for diameter of entrance hole and height of box was significant for brown antechinus (tended to use 5 cm hole; avoided 8 m height) and sugar glider (tended to use 5 cm hole; selected 8 m height), but no other mammal species. In July 1977, 120 nest boxes were installed in each of two 4-ha forest sites dominated by eucalyptus. Sites were located 6.5 km apart. Boxes were made of 13-mm wide wood, were 22 × 31 cm across and 45 cm high. Entrance hole sizes were 5, 8, 12 or 15-cm in diameter and boxes were attached at heights of 1.5, 4 or 8 m on tree trunks. Nest boxes were installed 20 m apart. Each contained a 50-mm layer of wood shavings. They were inspected fortnightly, for six months after installation and then approximately monthly until January 1980.

(Summarised by Ricardo Rocha)