The greater glider has been in the news with 2 new species being discovered making 3 in total. The research team spoke positively about the unique and sweet nature of the greater glider species.
Intrigued to discover some more about these gorgeous and unique animals we mostly don’t see because they sleep during the day in tree hollows and feed during the night.
They have similar habitat dependencies as koalas and prefer older trees with hollows to sleep in and feed almost exclusively on eucalypt leaves. Knock down – or burn – their bush habitat and silently the local greater gliders – and the other critters that also reside there – are gone.
Greater gliders are quiet and rarely heard but you may see large scratches on trees from landing – they launch themselves to glide from tree to tree up to 100 metres in the air.
Living up to 15 years and producing only 1 young per litter per year with the young glider dependent on mum for up to 10 months often riding on her back during glides (which makes me think of a baby on mums zipline lol).
Their individual range is between 0.7 and 3 hectares and they spread their time between multiple hollows and “During mating season you will see them sitting together with their long fluffy tails intertwined,” Dr. Kara Youngetob, one of the researchers from ANU, said.
Listed as vulnerable and declining sharply in numbers, threats to greater gliders include feral species such as foxes, cats and dogs, destruction of their habitat and barbed wire fences.
The Wildlife Preservation Society of Qld is one community environmental organisation working and campaigning for the survival of species and ecosystems including gliders.
Locking up domestic pests overnight, installing nesting boxes and protecting our remaining bush will help their survival. Sadly, gliders are incredibly vulnerable to bushfires and land clearing. Chillingly the recent Australian bushfires earlier this year wreaked not only enormous destruction to communities, farmland and bush it also wiped out nearly one-third of the greater gliders’ habitat.