A Ringtail Possum Nest Box can offer a safe refuge for ringtail 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 Ringtail 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 Ringtail Possum Nest Box. Significant alteration to many urban and rural environments has meant that natural hollows are now rare.
A lack of natural hollows can bring Ringtail Possums into conflict with its human neighbours, as they seek shelter in roofs or sheds. Supplementing natural hollows with an artificial den or Ringtail Possum Box will increase available habitat and is likely to reduce potential conflict.
This Ringtail Possum Box provides an ideal alternative to a natural hollow for Common Ringtail Possums, where such resources are lacking. This Ringtail Possum Box comes in kit form to reduce the cost, allow you greater involvement and potential satisfaction, in completing the Ringtail Possum Box yourself.
The addition of Spacers (2) is highly recommended for a Ringtail Possum Box, if it is to be affixed to a growing tree.
HOW TO MAKE A RINGTAIL POSSUM NEST BOX
The Ringtail Possum Box range has been developed so they are easily installed.
You can either install the Ringtail Possum 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 Ringtail Possum 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 Ringtail Possum Box it is important to determine an appropriate location for the Ringtail Possum Box to be sited. A location protected from the hot north-westerly sun and prevailing wet winds is preferable. Ringtail possums will not will readily utilise a Ringtail Possum 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 Ringtail Possum 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 Ringtail Possum Box. Before heading up the tree, it is worth spraying the inside roof of the Ringtail Possum 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 Ringtail Possum Box.
STEPS TO INSTALL A RINGTAIL POSSUM NEST BOX
- Select a suitable site for the Ringtail Possum 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 Ringtail Possum Box with little or no interference, yet the Ringtail Possum 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 Teks 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 Ringtail Possum Box, to a depth of about 25mm.
- Take the Ringtail Possum Box back up the ladder - CAREFULLY - and using the key-hole on the back of the Ringtail Possum Box, hang the Ringtail Possum Box on the Tek Screw.
- Place the 2nd PV Spacer between the back of the Ringtail Possum Box and the tree, just above the base, to ensure the correct positioning of the Ringtail Possum 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 Ringtail Possum 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 Ringtail Possum 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 Ringtail Possum Box has now been securely attached to the tree. Now sit back and eagerly anticipate the arrival of you new neighbours!