Northern Territory Ecology Project

A Project by Cara

Find Out More

Tree Hollows in Tropical Savanna

Hollows in trees and logs are important habitat for a lot of wildlife in tropical savannas. Hollows are generally found in the eucalyptus species (Wollybutt and Stringybark trees) that dominate the savanna. The availability of hollows can limit populations of species that are dependent on them for their survival.

The abundance of hollows in the tropical savanna of Australia are primarily driven by termites, that hollow out the tree from the inside. Tropical savannas experience a lot of disturbance by storms, cyclones and fire that can kill and remove trees from the forest.

There are many threatened species in tropical savanna that nest in hollows, however, there has been little research into the types of hollows they like to nest in and whether different species interact with another.

In northern Australia some species of small mammals have declined very rapidly over the recent decades. Some of which like to nest in hollows, these include the brush-tailed rabbit-rat, black-footed tree rat and northern brushtail possum. But there are also many other species including reptiles that like to rest in hollows as well.

We wanted to find out some of the species that use hollows in the savanna and what types of hollows we found them most commonly at.

Learn more

Learning Activities

Learn more about these animals!

Learn more



Cara Penton (PHD Candidate)


Alex Lay (IT Graduate)

This has been developed by InspiringNT in collaboration with Charles Darwin University.

Written and designed by Cara Penton and Kathleen Penton. Web design by Alex Lay.

The data presented in this project was funded by the Australian Research Council, Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions and supported by the Tiwi Land Council, Tiwi Resources and Plantations Management Partners.

Get in contact with us for any inquiries!