The Greater Glider in Strathbogie Forests

DSCN0708 Greater Gliderv L. Williams a

Black phase Greater Glider (Image Lance Williams)

The Greater Glider (Petauroides volans) is Australia’s largest gliding possum and a stunning site at night, high in the tree-tops. The species is regarded as Endangered by the Australian Government (Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act) and Vulnerable by the Victorian Government (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act), meaning it’s now on the slippery slope towards extinction if we let continue the factors impacting on its survival. The biggest of these is habitat loss and the causes of that in the Strathbogie Ranges are logging and planned burns.

Greater Gliders den and nest in big hollows, that only occur in big, old trees, like this one, below. These big trees take at least 100 years (possibly more) to develop hollows suitable for Greater Gliders. Unfortunately, a single planned burn can kill hundreds of these rare, majestic Strathbogie Forest trees.

In some parts of Strathbogie Forest these gliders occur in densities of 2 to 3 individuals per ha, but only where there are big, old trees. And Parlours Block, one of the highest conservation-value areas in the Strathbogie Ranges still has enough old-growth trees in parts of the forest for it to be prime habitat for this species.

Serious old-growth Mountain Gum (Euc. dalrympleana), 2 m diameter at breast height. One of the biggest trees in the forest.

Seriously old, old-growth Mountain Gum (Euc. dalrympleana), 2 m diameter at breast height. One of the biggest trees in this part of the forest.

If Parlours Creek is burnt, as planned, by DELWP in the next few weeks, it could decimate one of the last secure Greater Glider populations in the entire Strathbogie Ranges.

Greater Gliders don’t make a fuss about anything. They go about their business quietly, at night and on their own. They eat leaves, exclusively and are masters in the tree-tops. They usetheir long tails as a counter-balance and to assist steering, when gliding from tree to tree. It is totally tragic knowing that hundreds of these very special and endangered marsupials are burnt alive, or die a horrible chocking death, when their forest is burnt, not by accident in a bushfire, but deliberately by a planned burn.

Greater Glider – Martin Willis Photographs

One response to “The Greater Glider in Strathbogie Forests

  1. Hi There, we currently have a battle with local council over proposed mountain biking trails in Mt Canobolas SCA and love to be able to use your images of the Petauroides volans (Greater Glider) and Petaurus australis (Yellow-bellied Glider) in our online campaign as they are listed as threatened species in our SCA
    we will credit the photographer.
    thanks for your help

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