Macquarie University’s Dr. Alexandra Carthey has developed a biodegradable pod that can be used by small animals for protection in areas ravaged by wildfires. Carthey thought of the idea after the devastating summer of 2019/2020 that burned millions of acres in Eastern Australia.
The pods are designed to create shelter for small animals like bandicoots, possums, antechinus, bush rats and reptiles in areas where wildfires have burned out their natural protection from predators.
The pods are made of carboard and are 60cm tall (~24″). The pods contain 150 holes that can be used by a variety of creatures.
“The pod’s internal structure is three triangles that intersect at a central axis, creating a kind of honeycombed space big enough for the larger animals and providing nooks and crannies for smaller creatures and invertebrates such as beetles, native cockroaches and lizards.”
Carthey believes that these pods will be used by small critters to avoid predators only temporarily, and that they are not designed to be permanent dwellings.
It’s also important noting that many predators such as fox and cats will kill more prey than they will consume. Carthey worries that the small critters will be killed en masse because they won’t have any natural cover, and she hopes her pods will provide them some relief to escape their would-be killers.
You are encouraged to read more about Dr. Carthey’s invention in the article written for her University here. There’s a lot more in-depth analysis on how these pods could help small critters across Australia that live in areas ravaged by wildfires.