A Brushtail Possum Nesting Box can offer a safe refuge for brushtail possums in urban and rural environments.
Two species of possums are typically found in urban environments across Australia, the Common Brushtail and the Common Ringtail. The Common Brushtail Possum is endangered across much of it former range, so it is important that they are supported and protected, wherever they are still found.
Common Brushtail Possums are obligate hollow users – in that every day they require a safe refuge to retreat to, typically a natural hollow (referred to as a “den”) or where hollows are lacking a nesting box. Significant alteration to many urban and rural environments has meant that natural hollows are now rare.
A lack of natural hollows can bring Brushtail Possums into conflict with its human neighbours, as they seek shelter in roofs or sheds. Supplementing natural hollows with an artificial den or possum box will increase available habitat and is likely to reduce potential conflict.
This Brushtail Possum Nesting Box provides an ideal alternative to a natural hollow for Common Brushtail Possums, where such resources are lacking. This Brushtail Possum Nesting Box comes in kit form to reduce the cost, allow you greater involvement and potential satisfaction, in completing the nesting box yourself.
The addition of Spacers (2) is highly recommended for a Brushtail Possum Nesting Box, if it is to be affixed to a growing tree.
HOW TO MAKE THE BRUSHTAIL POSSUM NESTING BOX
The Brushtail Possum Nesting Box range has been developed so they are easily installed.
You can either install the box yourself following the instructions below or have the box professionally installed. A range of business such as pest controllers, gardening companies or arboriculturist may be able to provide this service.
The equipment you will require to install a Brushtail Possum Nesting Box yourself includes:
- Ladder (reaching to a minimum of 4m)
- Cordless drill
- 3/16 drill bit
- 3/8 hex-head driver and/or 3/8 socket and driver
Before installing the Brushtail Possum Nesting Box it is important to determine an appropriate location for the box to be sited. A location protected from the hot north-westerly sun and prevailing wet winds is preferable. Brushtail possums will not will readily utilise a nesting box in an open location, they prefer denser vegetative cover. Certain species will utilise hollows at heights as low as two metres, however most hollow dependant fauna would prefer a minimum of four metres, though six to eight metres is likely to be even better.
A Brushtail Possum Nesting Box oriented either north or north-west, where it is heated by the afternoon sun, tend to be preferred and a three metre clear flight path is required, below the box. Before heading up the tree, it is worth spraying the inside roof of the nesting box with an insect repellent (e.g. Nature Guard), as this may act as a deterrent to feral honey bees, discouraging them from invading the new nesting box.
STEPS TO INSTALL A BRUSHTAIL POSSUM NESTING BOX
- Select a suitable site for the nesting box.
- Ensure it is safe to use a ladder or other climbing apparatus to reach the required height. As mentioned earlier, for most species a height of 6-8m, above the ground is ideal. This enables the various species to occupy the nesting box with little or no interference, yet the nesting box can still be maintained, as required.
- Using the climbing apparatus/ladder, drill a 3/16 hole into the tree at the designated height.
- Next screw in the 100mm Teks Screw, to about 1/2 its length, using the 3/8 hex-head driver; then locate a PV Spacer over the screw. Tip: pre-dip the Tek Screw in an organic lubricating oil (e.g. Lanotec), before screwing it into a hardwood tree (e.g. Eucalypts).
- Return to the ground and empty the wood chip provided or another appropriate bedding medium, onto the bottom of the nesting box, to a depth of about 25mm.
- Take the nesting box back up the ladder - CAREFULLY - and using the key-hole on the back of the box, hang the box on the Tek Screw.
- Place the 2nd PV Spacer between the back of the nesting box and the tree, just above the base, to ensure the correct positioning of the box.
- Take the drill with the 3/16 bit and make a slightly angled hole into the tree, through the pre-drilled hole in the rebated, lower back panel of the nesting box.
- Take the 3/8 hex-head driver and screw the 2nd 100 mm Tek Screw into the pre-drilled hole, on the lower back panel. Ensuring it firmly secures the nesting box to the tree.
- Remove the door securing pin; tighten up the top Teks Screw; flatten the nesting material and then shut the door and replace the securing pin.
CONGRATULATIONS!! Your Brushtail Possum Nesting Box has now been securely attached to the tree. Now sit back and eagerly anticipate the arrival of you new neighbours!