A Greater update – September 2017

One of the 12 greater glider sightings that made for such a successful preliminary spotlighting survey earlier this month.

One of the 12 greater glider sightings that made for such a successful preliminary spotlighting survey earlier this month.

An evening of spotlighting in Caboolture has yielded some unexpected results for the Queensland Glider Network’s (QGN) latest project, funded by the Society’s Greater Idea appeal. Team leaders and a gang of enthusiastic volunteers trekked to Sheep Station Creek on 14 September to conduct a preliminary survey of this area selected for nest box installation.

With average wind speeds of around 40km per hour roaring throughout the night, hopes were not high for sightings of this elusive marsupial, but surprisingly a total of 12 sightings was recorded along the Ironbark Ridge Trail and Grey Gum Circuit.

More greater gliders were spotted than brushtail and ringtail possums! 

A designated conservation park, Sheep Station Creek was recently selected by the QGN as a target location for monitoring glider populations. Greater glider sightings independently uploaded to the Atlas of Living Australia earlier in the year sparked QGN’s interest and an initial site visit was conducted in August to gain a better understanding of the landscape. The park, dominated by tall eucalyptus trees such as spotted gums, ironbarks and bloodwoods, contains a moderate number of tree hollows suitable for the use of greater gliders and various other species.

Once you know what to look for it can be easy to spot greater gliders – if they are there. They have a very bright green-orange eye shine that can be seen from tens of meters away and on this particular night gliders could be found in the upper canopy and were fairly stationary, perhaps due to the extreme wind conditions. We were even fortunate enough to witness and document a greater glider going into a hollow, though the only colour morph observed that night was the darker brown with a lighter underbelly.

To top off a successful night we also spotted a tawny frogmouth, an antechinus, a koala and a couple of wallabies.

Data obtained from spotlighting is critical for future monitoring of greater gliders in the area. It will aid the Queensland Glider Network in determining population sizes and the best locations for nest box installation.

Of course, all of this is made possible only by the tireless support of our volunteers, donors and followers. Thank you all! Be sure to check out our QGN Facebook page where project updates are posted regularly, and if you are interested in getting involved please don’t hesitate to send us an email!

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