Greater glider conservation in the Redlands

The Greater Glider conservation Area is located in Alexandra Hills

The Greater Glider Conservation Area is located in Alexandra Hills

The plight of koalas in the Redlands is well understood by the local community but another local marsupial, the greater glider, is also vulnerable to extinction.

What are greater gliders?

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The greater glider is now listed as a vulnerable

The greater glider, known scientifically as Petauroides volans, is the largest of Australia’s gliding marsupials reaching total length of up to a metre (up to 46 cm nose to tail base and up to 60 cm in tail length).

Gliders are nocturnal, solitary herbivores feeding almost exclusively on eucalyptus leaves and buds as shown in this very short video.

These animals are able to glide more than 100 meters, but need tall trees to do so. They avoid traveling along the ground whenever possible and are slow and clumsy if forced to do so.

Greater gliders are not closely related to other glider species, like squirrel gliders and sugar gliders. The ringtailed possum is the greater glider’s closest relative.

Greater gliders spend daytime denning in hollowed trees. Each animal uses up to twenty different dens within its home range of 3-4 hectares.

Females have only one young per year and the young are independent after 9 months.

There are many well written articles about this extraordinary marsupial including Zoologger: Biofuel powers biggest flying marsupial.

Where are Redlands’ greater gliders?

Greater glider sightings in Redlands - recorded in the Atlas of Living Australia

Greater glider sightings in Redlands – recorded in the Atlas of Living Australia

Greater gliders could be found in the Greater Glider Conservation Area at Alexandra Hills and nearby well treed areas.

They could also be found in and near the Venman Bushland National Park.

Because they are active only at night, and well hidden during the day greater gliders are rarely sighted. The Atlas of Living Australia only has seven, quite old, sightings recorded for Redland City.

It’s important that all sightings of vulnerable and threatened species are recorded in the Atlas of Living Australia so when consultants, planners, developers, landowners and others are searching the database for ecological assessments, they can take this information into account.

Threats to Greater Gliders

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Greater glider images are difficult to obtain because they are shy and nocturnal. Does anyone have better quality images?

Threats to the greater glider are similar to the threats faced by koalas, including:

  • Land clearing for agriculture and urban development
  • Forestry (removing large trees)
  • Competition for hollows (sulphur-crested cockatoos have been a problem in some locations)
  • Fires especially too frequently
  • Climate change

Conservation status of the greater glider

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A very shy greater glider

1. Federal law – Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation (EPBC) Act

In May 2016 the greater glider’s conservation status was increased to vulnerable under Federal law.

This listing means that the species is now considered to be a matter of national environmental significance. Developments in areas where the species is present may need to be referred to the Federal Government for a decision on whether the project is considered to represent a “controlled action” under the EPBC Act.

The conservation advice about the Greater Glider is discussed in full on the Conservation Advice of the Threatened Species Scientific Committee.

2. Queensland law – Nature Conservation Act

Queensland Nature Conservation Act lists the greater glider as “Least Concern” but its status is likely to (soon) follow the vulnerable listing under Federal law according to a statement by State Environment Minister Steven Miles.

3. Redland City

In Redland City the greater glider is listed as a Significant Native Animal Species.

Images

Redlands2030 is keen to secure access to better quality images of greater gliders, but we are grateful to the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland for the images we have used.

Does anyone have quality images of this elusive and shy bush dweller?

 

Redlands2030 – 10 October 2016

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4 thoughts on “Greater glider conservation in the Redlands

  1. Erica is right about ignorant tree loppers being sent out by council to reduce native vegetation without supervision in instances where hollows in trees that may look to an observer as of no consequence yet highly valuable habitat to certain native wildlife species…without which they perish.
    To human species roadside trees are highly valuable for absorbing air and noise pollutants by heavily trafficked thoroughfares such as Finucane Rd Capalaba where a barrier was planted in late 1980’s for that purpose. Over the years section between Elmhurst & Tremont Streets just short of 4-way intersection, has been hacked into by, time after time, not always Energex crews or Council, but those wanting mulch with man in front cutting huge limbs off trees followed by man with mulch making machine normally when residents are at work. Seems to me there was no supervision in the latest loss of roadside vegetation on this stretch of roadway, since it’s now transformed into a ‘see through’ barrier where houses a few feet from road can be seen through huge gaps and it is hoped that these gaps are filled with suitable roadside fast growing trees sooner rather than later for health reasons…under supervision of course.

  2. and then you have the situation where Council sends out completely ignorant treelopper to cut off dangerous branches on a dead old Scribbly gums in the bush near a small waking trail,with many hollows used by Dollarbirds, Squirell gliders and lorikeets, who in their ignorance cut off most of the hollows… The Dollarbirds have come back every year since but have nowhere to nest so they move on….better choices in selection of these people and supervision/ education by Council would have saved a few creatures in the Birkdale Bush . Too late now, no more Squirell Gliders, no more Dollarbirds. I simply do not understand how Council can let such people loose on our bush without supervision …

  3. As they only inhabit the largest of our old trees with nesting hollows that other natives parrots and other possum varities are also in competition with them, is it any wonder with less and less of our habitable hollows still available that we have so few sightings.

  4. Quite simple really, protect habitat and you protect
    many species from Koala to Greater Glider and anything in between