We warmly welcome donations from the public and from members – they are crucial in supporting our projects and campaigns and are the lifeblood of our organisation. Deposited into our special gift fund, donations to Wildlife Queensland are administered by a board of trustees. Our finances are audited annually and through regulations set down by Environment Australia, ensuring that all donations are spent in accordance with the objectives of the Society. All donations over $2 are tax-deductible.
Donations to our Greater Idea appeal for the greater glider – an adorable native animal that feeds almost exclusively on eucalyptus leaves – will help the Queensland Glider Network trial the use of nest boxes in counteracting habitat loss for this vulnerable species forced to fight for the few suitable homes remaining. See full details of this innovative program in the Description below. Thank you – all donations are very ‘greater-fully’ received!
To make a donation, please select the appeal you would like to support below, enter the amount you wish to donate and then add to cart.
Like our iconic koala, the greater glider (Petauroides volans) is an adorable native animal that feeds almost exclusively on eucalyptus leaves. However, unlike the koala, this shy nocturnal creature is rarely seen by the public and receives far less media attention. Accordingly, you may be unaware that, in May 2016, the greater glider was formally listed as Vulnerable under the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (EPBC Act)
…bringing our total number of threatened animal species to 495 (EPBC Act).
This gliding marsupial, restricted to the eucalyptus forests of eastern mainland Australia, is unique in its appearance with large fluffy ears, a long furry tail and highly reflective eye-shine under spotlight. Unusually, the species ranges in colour from dark grey to creamy white. Though the largest of Australia’s gliding possums, greater gliders are light in weight, allowing them to travel up to one hundred metres in a single glide using the elbow-to-ankle membrane that sets them apart from other gliders, whose membrane starts at the wrist.
The loss, degradation and fragmentation of glider habitat, as a result of land clearing and urbanisation, are widely recognised as the main causes of decline in glider numbers in Queensland. Not only has the state’s total area of vegetation been significantly reduced, its structure and composition has changed dramatically, forcing many greater gliders to live in isolated patches of vegetation which rarely contain the full natural range of floral and faunal communities. Highly specialised in their dietary and habitat requirements, greater gliders are particularly vulnerable to these changes.
“Critical habitat elements for the greater glider are a tall canopy layer of eucalypt trees, and large tree hollows high up in the canopy” (Harris & Maloney 2010). Due to sparse numbers of remaining hollow-bearing trees and the fact that hollows typically start developing in eucalypts from around 150 to 260 years of age, the greater glider’s decline is predicted to continue. Adding to this, greater gliders face intense competition with other species whose survival also depends on the same few remaining hollows.
Letting this situation continue for these vulnerable native gliders is not an option. We’ve got a greater idea…
Thankfully, there is a solution! The integration of manmade nest boxes into areas of greater glider habitat has the potential to counteract the lack of hollow-bearing trees and improve the species’ chances of survival. Though the use of nest boxes in greater glider conservation has received very little attention, nest boxes have had success in improving habitat restoration for other glider species such as the squirrel and sugar glider (Goldingay et al. 2015).
Through its dedicated Queensland Glider Network, Wildlife Queensland has been monitoring glider populations, tree hollows and nest boxes in southern Brisbane since 2006, with a recent focus on greater glider habitat in the Redlands area. Our research indicates that greater gliders are having to compete with other species for tree hollows in the area and that this may be the limiting factor for some populations.
A greater idea: Wildlife Queensland has devised a dedicated project to trial the use of nest boxes for greater gliders. By installing and monitoring 10 species-specific nest boxes at three locations within southern Brisbane we know we will learn more about the greater glider’s preferences in using them, and therefore how to make best use of this manmade nesting resource in conserving the species. What box height do greater gliders prefer? How long from first installation does it take a greater glider to occupy the box, and are non-target species beating them to it? The answers to these kinds of questions will be extremely important in informing future recovery initiatives for the species.
As you no doubt appreciate, the procurement, installation and 12-month monitoring of 30 high-quality nest boxes requires considerable funding. In committing to this innovative program with the potential to facilitate the survival of our vulnerable greater glider, Wildlife Queensland is reaching out for your help in raising $25,000 by 31 December 2016.
Remaining unaware of what nest boxes can do to counteract habitat loss for our greater gliders? Wildlife Queensland has a much greater idea.
Please help us trial this exciting program with the potential to safeguard our vulnerable greater gliders against further decline. The impacts of rapid urbanisation are closing in on our wildlife forced to fight for the few suitable homes remaining. Providing a manmade solution to this manmade problem is an achievable outcome – and the least we can do – not only for the greater glider but for the greater good of our wildlife.