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Innovative habitat pods deployed to help wildlife at North Head Sanctuary

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3 min read
Image credit: J Clarke, Australian Wildlife Conservancy
The Harbour Trust is proud to share that its partner, Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC), is installing biodegradable ‘flat-pack’ shelters at North Head Sanctuary, Manly to protect vulnerable animals.

Capable of being rapidly installed, the innovative habitat pods will address the high mortality rate amongst wild animals due to the impact of bushfires on food sources and shelter. The pods will offer small animals short-term refuge from threats and predators like feral cats, which have been known to take advantage of easier hunting conditions post-fire.

Made from light-weight materials, the pods are easy to transport and set up, and entirely biodegradable. Two hundred pods will be installed to shelter three species that were locally extinct at North Head Sanctuary but have been restored since 2017; namely, the Eastern Pygmy Possum (Cercartetus nanus), the Brown Antechinus (Antechinus stuartii), and the Bush Rat (Rattus fuscipes).

Developed by Dr Alex Carthey of Macquarie University, the pods are now a part of a PhD project by AWC ecologist, Angela Raña. North Head Sanctuary will be the first real-world trial of these pods and Raña will monitor the shelters over the next 12 months to assess whether they can be effectively used by native animals in response to bushfires.

We look forward to partnering on this project with the AWC and focusing on supporting small mammals at North Head Sanctuary.

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