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 following.

Action Category

Provide artificial dens or nest boxes on trees

Action Link
Terrestrial Mammal Conservation
  1. Provide artificial dens or nest boxes on trees

    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)

Output references
What Works 2021 cover

What Works in Conservation

What Works in Conservation provides expert assessments of the effectiveness of actions, based on summarised evidence, in synopses. Subjects covered so far include amphibians, birds, mammals, forests, peatland and control of freshwater invasive species. More are in progress.

More about What Works in Conservation

Download free PDF or purchase
The Conservation Evidence Journal

The Conservation Evidence Journal

An online, free to publish in, open-access journal publishing results from research and projects that test the effectiveness of conservation actions.

Read the latest volume: Volume 21

Go to the CE Journal

Discover more on our blog

Our blog contains the latest news and updates from the Conservation Evidence team, the Conservation Evidence Journal, and our global partners in evidence-based conservation.

Who uses Conservation Evidence?

Meet some of the evidence champions

Endangered Landscape ProgrammeRed List Champion - Arc Kent Wildlife Trust The Rufford Foundation Save the Frogs - Ghana Mauritian Wildlife Supporting Conservation Leaders
Sustainability Dashboard National Biodiversity Network Frog Life The international journey of Conservation - Oryx Cool Farm Alliance UNEP AWFA Bat Conservation InternationalPeople trust for endangered species Vincet Wildlife Trust