Kingborough volunteers and businesses have combined their skills to create new nesting boxes for the endangered orange-bellied parrot.
Volunteers from the Channel Men’s Shed helped to fabricate 44 nesting boxes for use over the next two breeding seasons.
The boxes will be located at the orange-bellied parrot captive breeding facilities at Five Mile Beach and Taroona managed by the Department of Primary Industry, Parks Water and Environment (DPIPWE).
Channel Men’s Shed vice-president Peter Ralph co-ordinated the project at the shed. He said members were enthusiastic about the assignment.
“We had strong support from many members who were keen to be involved in fabrication and assembly,” said Peter.
“We sought out best-practice manufacturing methods and more than 120 volunteer hours were involved in the assembly of the nesting boxes.”
The Men's Shed outsourced the Computer Numeric Control (CNC) design of the nesting boxes to Trimview Windows and Doors in Huntingfield.
The CNC design was used by local CNC operators Precision Renovations in Huntingfield and Around the Twist in Electrona where the plywood for the boxes was cut to the correct sizes.
The new breeding facility at Five Mile Beach will increase DPIPWE’s captive breeding capacity by 50 per cent this breeding season, and will provide capacity for 48 breeding pairs by the 2019-20 breeding season, up from 24 during the 2017-18 breeding season.
Orange-bellied Parrot Program and Project Manager Saint Rooks said the increases to captive breeding have supported a 90 per cent boost in spring releases to the wild this year to balance the sex ratio and boost breeding prospects of the critically endangered wild population.
Construction of the new facility at Five Mile Beach has started and it will be fully operational by the end of the breeding season in April 2019.
The Taroona aviaries will remain operational until the new fit-for-purpose facility is completed.
Monitoring of the orange-bellied parrot population in the wild is continuing, with 19 to 20 wild birds anticipated to return to Melaleuca in the 2017-18 breeding season.
So far this season, 16 birds have returned to Melaleuca.
Pictured: Channel Men’s Shed Vice President, Peter Ralph, CMS member, David James, OBP Program and Project Manager, Saint Rooks, CMS Secretary, Bruce Weller, CMS members, Terry Long and Ken Lapworth, and CMS President, Peter Norris with the new nesting boxes for the endangered orange-bellied parrot. (PS)