Comment - Economics of a nest-box program for the conservation of an endangered species: A re-appraisal

D. B. Lindenmayer*, C. MacGregor, P. Gibbons

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    Spring et al. (D.A. Spring, M. Bevers, J.O.S. Kennedy, and D. Harley. 2001. Can. J. For. Res. 31: 1992-2003) recently published a paper on the economics of a nest-box program for the endangered arboreal marsupial, Leadbeater's possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri) in southeastern Australian forests. While their paper is a useful one, there are some important limitations of nest-box programs that need to be highlighted. In the case of Leadbeater's possum, we have undertaken extensive nest-box studies in Victoria mountain ash (Eucalyptus regnans F. Muell.) forests, where the vast majority of populations of the species now occur. Although large numbers of nest boxes have been deployed, very few have actually been occupied, which is a major problem since the effectiveness of any nest-box program will depend on patterns of use by the target species. Given very low levels of nest-box occupancy, harvesting regimes such as those that lead to on-site tree retention are needed to better conserve hollow-dependent species like Leadbeater's possum. Moreover, the need for nest boxes in the first place indicates that logging practices are presently not ecologically sustainable, and modified forestry practices need to be adopted.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2244-2247
    Number of pages4
    JournalCanadian Journal of Forest Research
    Issue number12
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2002


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