November 10, 2015 Mammals No Comments

Gliders are nocturnal possum-like animals that live in Australia’s woodlands and forests.  They are marsupials – so are born in a very incomplete state: minute, blind, hairless, with only partially formed hind limbs, and the embryos develop in a marsupium or pouch.

All of Australia's gliders are found in Queensland. Photo ©Steve Parish Publishing

All of Australia’s gliders are found in Queensland.
Photo ©Steve Parish Publishing

They are arboreal which means they are tree dwellers rather than ground dwellers, and have a varied diet including leaves, nectar, pollen, sap and insects.

Their defining characteristic is the membrane that allows them to glide, and extends between the fore and hind limbs.

The angle and speed of their glide varies depending on the ratio of their body weight to the surface area of their membrane.

All six species of Australian glider are found in Queensland, five of them in the south-east of the State

They range in size from the tiny feathertail glider, which can sit in a child’s hand, to the solitary and regionally vulnerable greater glider.  All species are dependant on hollows and as a result are found only in habitats containing hollow-bearing trees.

Click on the links on the left to find out more about each species. And then – why don’t you join ourQueensland Glider Network program (it’s free).

For more information on Wildlife Queensland’s activities, contact us here.

Acknowledgements:

Yellow-bellied, Sugar and Squirrel Glider Sound Files: Copyright © David Stewart – Nature Sound
Mahogany Glider Sound Files: Copyright © Daryl Dickson – Wildcard Art
Maps: Copyright © Commonwealth of Australia, GeoScience Australia
Species Distribution Data: Feathertail Glider: Simon Ward; Greater Glider: George McKay; Squirrel Glider: Rodney van der Ree; Sugar Glider: Graeme Suckling; Mahogany Glider: Steve Jackson; Yellow-bellied Glider: Ross Goldingay

Written by Wildlifeqld