After 6 months of collaborative on-ground work Wildlife Queensland’s Bridging the Gap appeal to reconnect and restore the north Queensland habitat of the endangered mahogany glider is seeing signs of early success, with the first happy snaps gliding in!
“Without positive human intervention to counteract the negatives including habitat fragmentation, habitat degradation, rural residential development and transport infrastructure, mahogany gliders appeared to have little chance of survival into the future,” said Matt Cecil, Projects Manager for Wildlife Queensland.
“Wildlife Queensland’s dedication to connect isolated populations across a fragmented landscape is working towards securing this species’ future,” he said.
Launched in March 2015, Bridging the Gap has provided funding for a vital link between the Whitfield Creek wildlife corridor and the Queensland Government-funded Glen Bora-Bairds Creek Mahogany Glider Corridor at Kennedy. Funding has allowed the installation of 20-metre-high gliding poles fitted with a specialised 3G remote camera system to monitor the crossing.
“The images are downloaded daily and shared with Terrain Natural Resource Management, Girringun Rangers, the Mahogany Glider Recovery Team, the students at Kennedy State School and other groups managing glider projects,” said Daryl Dickson, President of Wildlife Queensland’s Cassowary Coast-Hinchinbrook branch.
While many creatures including bats, frogs, sugar gliders and geckoes have been photographed on the poles, the first mahogany glider – a female – was caught on camera on 4 December 2016, only five weeks after the cameras were installed, and was soon followed by the first male.
“This leaves us with a lot of hope that projects like this have a meaningful impact on one of the glider’s greatest problems: connectivity. The recovery of the species will certainly be assisted if we can allow them to move more easily throughout their remaining habitat,” said Matt.
“This project is a celebration of the hard work, community effort, corporate support and dedicated donors needed to build a positive outcome for species like the mahogany glider,” he said.
Wildlife Queensland wishes to again thank all donors to the appeal as well as project partners Ergon Energy, Terrain NRM, Girringan Rangers, Kennedy State School, HQ Plantations, Cassowary Coast Regional Council, Green Army, and the local community and landholders.