Eight months ago, bushfire devastated a core area of habitat of the Forster squirrel glider population.
However, since that time numbers of the unique Australian mammal has shown promising signs the colony is thriving.
At one stage MidCoast Council had contemplated a set-back to its three year program to protect bushland that was home for the threatened species.
The NSW Government Environmental Trust project, which wrapped up on Friday, July 31, has protected and enhanced squirrel glider habitat across 53 hectares of bushland reserves in Forster.
On-ground works have involved targeted bush regeneration works, the installation of nesting boxes, feral pest animal controls and community education.
A key aspect of the project has been the installation of 64 specially-constructed nesting boxes in council reserves where natural hollows are in short supply.
Gliders rely on hollows for shelter and breeding.
"The bushfire last year resulted in 24 nesting boxes being lost," MidCoast Council senior ecologist, Mat Bel said.
"Thanks to the support of Conservation Volunteers Australia and FAWNA who donated nesting boxes to council, we were able to place replacements into the recovering bushland soon after the fire," he said.
"It's great news that the monitoring we undertook this week found 10 squirrel gliders in boxes across the burnt parts of the project area, compared to five animals at the same time last year prior to the fires."
Fire is just one recognised threat to the survival of squirrel gliders, and the project has also helped raise community awareness about how to protect our local population.
Council has put together a video and resources to inform and assist Forster residents in the quest to help protect squirrel gliders.
"There are lots of things you can do to protect squirrel gliders at home, from keeping cats inside, especially at night, to planting native species in gardens and installing habitat boxes in your trees."
This project has been assisted by the NSW Government through its Environmental Trust, with support from council's environmental rate.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: