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Homes for Hawk-owls a Community Conservation Project

In 2017 Range to Reef commenced an innovative conservation project for the EPBC listed Christmas island hawk-owl, testing a new strategy to improve nesting opportunities for this species. The project, funded by Phosphate Resources Limited (PRL), has a strong ‘citizen science’ flavour with a close partnership with the Christmas Island District High School. The students have built the boxes and will conduct a 12-month monitoring program of the nest-boxes. Though little is known about the hawk-owl’s breeding biology, they are believed to nest in mature hollow-bearing trees which are likely to be limited in the historically cleared areas of the Island.

 

Range to Reef has coordinated this pilot study to evaluate the potential to increase the availability of nesting habitat for the hawk-owl, undertaking the following;

 

  • Designing nest-boxes targeting the Christmas Island hawk-owl

  • Establishing a partnership with the local school, engaging students to construct the boxes as part of their Technology Education curriculum

  • Installing the nest-boxes in areas of disturbed habitat

  • Managing media communications

  • Establishing a collaborative monitoring protocol, with local school students, environmental staff from PRL, and staff from Range to Reef working together to collect data on nest-box use.

 

This project is ongoing. Further information is found on the Phosphate Resources Limited website.