Natalie Briscoe and colleagues were part of a team that has been investigating whether we can improve the functional performance of nest boxes. They wondered
what difference surface reflectance would have on the temperature inside nest boxes if the outsides of the boxes were painted in different colours.
The team tested three different coloured nest boxes (white, light-green, and dark-green) to see if the colour of the nest boxes had an effect on the internal temperature they maintain.
Their study found that light coloured boxes were the best at reflecting heat during summer and dark coloured boxes asborbed heat well in winter. Other factors including box design, placement, and the amount of shade boxes received also influenced the internal temperature of the nest boxes.
These conclusions have important implications for the use of nest boxes as a conservation tool. Conservation managers considering the implementation of nest boxes programs need to give careful consideration to design, colour, placement and shade profile of nest boxes.
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Top image: Whose house is cooler? Turns out it’s the light green nest boxes on the tree on the right (in this case, boxes for bats). Which probably means light green is better in the summer but the warmer dark green boxes might be more suitable in winter. Photo: Steve Griffiths
We are receiving an additional $2 million to deliver science to support wildlife and habitat recovery efforts following Australia’s bushfire crisis. The rapid rollout of work now faces the added and acute challenge of COVID-19.
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One of the post-fire challenges to population recovery that many native species will face is increased risk of predation, including by introduced foxes and cats.
Chief Science Officer John Kanowski and Regional Ecologist SW Michael Smith from the Australian Wildlife Conservancy discuss the far-reaching work their team is doing to protect vulnerable mammals from introduced predators.
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