Australian native animals have had a terrible few years with drought, bushfires and logging. Tree-dwelling creatures who have managed to survive are often homeless, with the loss of many nesting hollows. Now the Lismore Environment Centre has begun a new initiative to build and help install nesting and resting boxes for our region’s precious native fauna.
Echonetdaily spoke to the Environment Centre’s Philippe Dupuy about this move into a different sort of activism.
‘The sellout by government of native forests to developers, loggers and timber-getters is taking many of our much-loved critters to the brink of extinction,’ said Mr Dupuy.
‘The Lismore Environment Centre, along with many other dedicated environment organisations, have fought to the edge of exhaustion to stop the irresponsible destruction of the last remnants of forests in NSW.’
Different direct action
Mr Dupuy says in the past many protectors have been harassed, threatened and fined, but suggests now is the time to change tactics and involve people in a different kind of direct action, in which previously uninvolved citizens are encouraged to care for homeless animals.
‘By having a shelter in their yards, people can observe native animals and learn to love and respect them,’ he said. ‘This is another way to raise awareness, while also addressing the housing crisis for animals evicted from their homes.’
Mr Dupuy said Lismore Environment Centre members are organising not only to provide housing by making ‘rest and nest’ boxes, but also installing the boxes, as well as tracking and monitoring the success of the project.
‘Through organisations connected with the idea of citizen scientists, we hope to collect data to help make a difference,’ he said,
‘LEC is in a very lucky position, right in the centre of town. So we’re asking people to come and visit and see how they can become involved.’
Mr Dupuy said the COVID-19 calamity has depleted Lismore Environment Centre’s volunteer base.
‘We are in need of committed citizens as we are for fresh ideas,’ he said. ‘We are in the early stages of developing and no doubt we have a lot to learn, so please let’s do it together.’
LEC is particularly interested in talking to tree surgeons and other people with climbing gear and experience who might be able to help install the nesting boxes.
You can find the Lismore Environment Centre on Facebook, ring them on (02) 6621 6977, or drop in and see them at the Lismore Transit Centre building, which is at 1/115 Molesworth Street Lismore.