Leave No One and Place Behind this World Habitat Day
On 3 October 2022, the Global Observance of World Habitat Day, under the theme Mind the Gap. Leave No One and Place Behind, will look at the problem of growing inequality and challenges in cities and human settlements.
As most people have spent the better part of last year at home, it has really helped many realize just how important their home is. However, not everyone has that luxury. Could you imagine being one of the 3 billion people who can’t wash their hands at home?
It has also highlighted how important homes are for safety.
Covid-19 has spread much quicker in crowded homes or in homeless areas. And since housing has been declared a human right by the UN, there is no better time to make a difference.
How you can help
One of the best ways you can help your community is to support the Habitat for Humanity organization.
This group’s goal is to make sure everyone has a decent place to live. It will help out families by having them work alongside volunteers to build their home and give them an affordable mortgage.
As you can expect, the organization does rely on volunteers to construct the houses, so everyone can help make a difference in their community. Habitat for Humanity can be found all around the world, so be sure to check your locale.
Animals homes are also important
While the focus is on human habitats, it’s important to remember that our homes often affect other wildlife.
If it is possible, try to make the outside of your home friendly to native species. This can be as simple as growing some flowers for bees, birdfeeders, and other simple additions. Make your home inviting to other species as well.
To you and me a tree hollow may just look like a hole or a tunnel in a tree or branch. But to an animal that hollow may be a hiding place, a bedroom or even a nursery.
They are quite literally a tree house! And like most real estate in Australia, finding a hollow home can be a competitive process, so protecting them for as many species as possible, is vital.
Who needs a hollow? Well incredibly more than 340 Australian species use hollows as a shelter or home. Mammals such as gliders, possums and quolls, and bird species like parrots, owls and falcons, as well as a plethora of reptiles and frogs.
Hollows form, change and disappear naturally, however many things that humans do can lead to habitat loss, leaving animals without safe homes. Firewood collection, and logging for timber and paper, can negatively impact our animals – they may lose their home or food source.
And while nothing beats a natural hollow, when hollows are scarce, nesting boxes can be a handy substitute. Become a hollow hero and position a nest box, or several boxes of different sizes, in your garden.
On World Habitat Day (or any other day of the year) we hope you take the time to look up, down and around, and discover and appreciate the amazing world of tree hollows.