July 22, 2015

EnergyAustralia Yallourn is helping the Latrobe Catchment Landcare Network (LCLN) improve shelter for wildlife in the Latrobe Valley by funding the installation of 240 nesting boxes.

The nesting boxes are being installed by Hedley Range Services, which will tomorrow mount another structure in the Flynn area of the Red Gum Plains Grassy Woodland, near Traralgon.

EnergyAustralia provided $10,000 to fund the installations, with more than half of the boxes already set up throughout the woodland since March. All of the boxes are expected to be fitted by September.

This is a collaborative project with the Victorian Government, which funded LCLN research to find out what kinds of wildlife lived in the woodlands. The research and extra government funding was then used to design and build boxes of different shapes and sizes to cater for native species including micro-bats, owls and sugar gliders.

EnergyAustralia Yallourn Operations and Construction Environmental Professional Nicki Kumar said the boxes would benefit the area and its inhabitants in a number of ways.

"The nesting boxes are not only homes for mothers and their young, but also help create wildlife corridors for animals to move between areas, therefore rejuvenating populations and even replenishing plant life relying on seed transfer by some animals and birds," Ms Kumar said.

"EnergyAustralia has made a small contribution that will have long-term environmental benefits.

"This initiative is just one of a range of environmental projects in the Latrobe Valley we fund, working with vital groups like Landcare and the state government."
LCLN Coordinator Megan Hughes said the nest box installations would help further protect local birds and animals, adding to the efforts of farmers re-planting Red Gum trees on their properties.

"Red Gums are long-living trees - some of them up to 700 years - and wildlife species typically use the hollows in the older trees for shelter and breeding," Ms Hughes said.

"However, many of those older trees were chopped down to the point of becoming endangered, which drove wildlife out of the area, so we're replacing the natural hollows with man-made hollows to help rebuild sustainable wildlife populations. It will be brilliant to see animals making themselves at home in the boxes.

"We're an independent group that relies solely on funding from government and other groups, so EnergyAustralia has provided vital support for us to carry out this important work. The company has helped to improve chances of species' survival in the Latrobe Valley."