Now is the time for Nest Box Maintenance

It would be nice to think that once a nesting box is installed, that is it!  The wildlife would breed and all would live happily ever after!  Unfortunately wildlife/nesting boxes need periodical monitoring and maintenance the same as any home!

You can either maintain the box(s) yourself or have the box(s) professionally maintained.  fauNature® offers a maintenance service, when required, or for those outside our local area, a range of other business such as pest controllers, gardening companies or arborist may also be able to provide this service.

February to April is a great time to maintain/service your nesting box(s), in preparation for the following spring.  A little later in June-July is probably a better for bats, as they are least active at this time of the year.  Possums may be in residence at any time, so it can be pot luck, however it is best to avoid the wetter months.

If you have a fauNature® or indeed any type of nesting box you are looking to personally maintain, the following article is likely to prove useful.  Alternatively, if you are looking to engage someone else to service your nesting box(s), ensure they know what they are doing by having them read this article…

Maintaining a Nesting Box

Good luck with your maintenance process and be sure the nest box is safe and presentable in good time for the first inspection of the season.

Natural born killers: the problem with cats.

Natural born killers: the problem with cats.

It may be time for us to reconsider our long lave affair with cats, says John Pickrell editor of Australian Geographic.

Many People love cats.  But has the time come to break our addiction to them? John asks.  In the following article John provides some compelling arguments why Australians need to rethink cat ownership and how cats are managed both here and overseas…

Saving City Wildlife – with democracy

Saving City Wildlife – with democracy

Australian citizens can become more involved in planning their cities with wildlife in mind thanks to a new tool developed by researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions (CEED).

“When it comes to urban planning, protecting wildlife is often overlooked – but the loss of natural ecosystems in cities poses risks to public health and the quality of life of urban citizens,” says Dr Sarah Bekessy, of CEED and RMIT University. “Over half of Australia’s threatened species and ecosystems occur within the urban fringe and accelerating urbanisation is now a key threat to their survival.”

“Our team has developed a way to rank sites for development according to various priorities such as biodiversity loss, flood risk and transport planning.

“Decision-makers can use this tool to balance different objectives and explore the impact of trade-offs between competing priorities.

“You can then have a democratic process in which citizens are involved in helping to decide the right weight to give to the various planning priorities.

“The public can – and should – be drawn into the process of ranking development priorities so that important decisions such as protecting wildlife are made by citizens rather than planners,” she says.

“We believe that incorporating the public’s view on the protection of wildlife within an urban development plan will lead to a greater sense of ownership of native urban wildlife by Australians, which is highly desirable when you consider that almost 90 per cent of us live in metropolitan areas.”

Further important research by CEED also indicates that cities can be planned in a way that both encourages and protects native wildlife.

Jessica Sushinsky, Professor Hugh Possingham and Dr Richard Fuller of CEED and the University of Queensland recently published a study which found that birds were much more plentiful in cities that mixed areas of intensive development with open green spaces.

“Urban development usually reduces the number of birds in a city, but building more compact cities and avoiding urban sprawl can slow these reductions significantly,” says lead author Jessica Sushinsky.

“In a city like Brisbane where there are large green parks with a mix of vegetation we still find a relatively healthy diversity of birds such as Lewin’s honeyeater, grey shrike-thrush, the red-backed fairy-wren and the striated pardalote, which rely on more complex habitats than are usually found in private, manicured backyards.

“Where compact housing development leaves these important green spaces intact we see fewer local extinctions, even in Brisbane which has undergone substantial growth in recent years.

“Urban sprawl on the other hand not only results in the disappearance of many urban-sensitive birds but also leads to an increase in feral birds such as the common myna or the spotted turtle dove, both invasive species in Australia.

“While our findings suggest that future cities should be built ‘up’ rather than ‘out’, any reduction in the size of private backyards would also mean it is important to retain large public green spaces leading to cities that provide a better quality of life for both people and wildlife.”

“CEED’s research is about how we make decisions to protect the environment,” says Prof Hugh Possingham, Centre Director at CEED. “These two studies are an excellent example of the co-ordinated research being undertaken through the Centre.

“Understanding how different types of urban development impact on birds means that the tool developed by Dr Bekessy and her colleagues can be used to balance the need for urban growth with important conservation priorities. Some priorities may even be decided by popular vote.”

The first paper “Transparent planning for biodiversity and development in the urban fringe” by Sarah Bekessy, Matt White, Ascelin Gordon, Atte Moilanen, Michael McCarthy and Brendan Wintle appears in the journal Landscape and Urban Planning. See:

The second paper “How should we grow cities to minimize their biodiversity impacts?” by Jessica Sushinsky, Jonathan Rhodes, Hugh Possingham, Tony Gill and Richard Fuller appears in Global Change Biology. See:

CEED is the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions.

Seacliff PS Nesting Success

Seacliff PS Nesting Success

Seacliff Primary School was involved in a nest box building project thanks to DPTI, City of Holdfast Bay, the NRM Board and fauNature last year.

Attached is an article written by Jeremy Gramp of the Adelaide and Mount Lofty NRM board and published in their term 3, 2014 newsletter.

Its been an absolutely terrific project, with the kids achieving many fabulous learning outcomes.


Wildlife of Greater Adelaide

Wildlife of Greater Adelaide

Whether digging in the garden, walking the dog, or jogging through one of our local parks, we constantly encounter animals. From the minute and bizarre creatures hidden in the leaf litter, to big, colourful, active mammals and birds, we are

surrounded by wildlife. Adelaide and the surrounding Mount Lofty Ranges support a spectacular diversity of fauna, some of which are found nowhere else on earth. However, there is limited benefit in simply encountering this wildlife. If we were able to identify the species, understand their biology and explain their habits to our kids and our visitors alike, how much more rewarding would the experience be?

The Wildlife of Greater Adelaide, our region’s first comprehensive wildlife guidebook, a culmination of years in the making is now available. As a photographic guide it provides easy to read descriptions, natural histories and additional information about both native and introduced species. Most importantly, the book equips the reader with the identification skills to explore, understand and appreciate the wildlife of our region so enabling us all to become backyard David Attenboroughs!

Written by Adelaide zoologist and passionate wildlife advocate James Smith, and with a foreword by Professor Chris Daniels, the Wildlife of Greater Adelaide is a must-have addition for anyone interested in our local wildlife. Whether you are simply looking to identify the wild neighbours with which you share your own backyard or you are a seasoned naturalist looking to further expand your knowledge, this book is the perfect companion.

Mammals, birds, reptiles, frogs, fishes, insects, spiders, crustaceans, snails and worms are amongst the diverse array of wildlife described and displayed within these pages. Emphasis has been placed on the most common, well-known or potentially dangerous species recorded across the region.

The Wildlife of Greater Adelaide is the result of an incredible collaborative effort between the University of South Australia, the South Australian Museum, the Adelaide and Mount Lofty Ranges Natural Resources Management Board and a number of Adelaide nature and wildlife organisations and not-for-profits. This magnificent book is a testament to those organisations and their people who recognised the importance of Adelaide having its own wildlife guidebook as way to encourage more of us, especially the younger generations, to engage with the nature that surrounds us. Afterall, we can only expect people to care for nature if they understand and appreciate it.

The book was officially launched at the South Australian Museum on Thursday, 6 October, and is on sale now here or available at good local book stores.

Wildlife of Greater Adelaide wins a 2017 Whitley Award!

Wildlife of Greater Adelaide wins a 2017 Whitley Award!

The Whitley Awards, presented annually by the Royal Zoological Society of NSW, recognise the best publications that profile the unique wildlife of the Australasian region.

The Wildlife of Greater Adelaide was one of 11 zoological publications recognised at this years Whitley Awards.

A diverse range of wildlife including birds, sharks, red kangaroos and even beetles have been placed in the spotlight as the Royal Zoological Society of NSW announces their prestigious Awards for zoological literature.
In addition to an overall Whitley Medal winner, Certificate of Commendations are awarded to a range of categories including children’s books, public interest, magazines, local guides and technical works for professional biologists.

In 2017 the Whitley Medal has been awarded to ‘The Australian Bird Guide’ published by CSIRO Publishing and authored by Peter Menkhorst, Danny Rogers, Rohan Clarke, Jeff Davies, Peter Marsack and Kim Franklin.

This beautiful book represents the most comprehensive overview to date of the bird life found across the Australian continent. It includes exquisite illustrations of over 900 bird species alongside detailed information on identification, distribution and status.

According to Dr Noel Tait, Chairman of the Awards Committee, The Australian Bird Guide has raised the bar for zoology field guides.

Certificates of Commendation have been awarded to ten more publications, exploring such diverse topics as a child’s view of bird migration, a historical account of the red kangaroo in central Australia and a local guide to the wildlife of Adelaide (see below for award winners).

“We were overjoyed with the applications we received for this year’s Awards,” says Dr Tait.

“We feel they accurately represent the diversity of Australian fauna, the passion of our local naturalists, and the genuine interest that all Australians have for our magnificent native species.”

“On behalf of the RZS NSW I would like to thank all applicants and encourage anyone with an interest in zoology to explore some of the amazing literature that is available.”