29 March 2019
Wildlife Queensland recently caught up with ecologist and wildlife carer, Stefan Hattingh. Stefan, who’s been involved with wildlife rehabilitation for more than 16 years, is Operations Manager of Bulimba Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee and cares for and rehabilitates orphaned squirrel gliders in his spare time.
Squirrel gliders are under threat from habitat loss, barbed wire fences, road traffic, predators and other issues, said Stefan.
“Two of my orphans were found in the pouch of a mother hanging dead from a barbed wire fence. They were both found starving and sick. The male died and the female survived and is now doing well.
“When a mother glider is killed, if we can get to them quickly enough, there may still be a baby glider alive in the pouch or nearby,” said Stefan.
Many of the young gliders in this video that Stefan recorded (above) were found on their own, some weighing just 12 grams, their parents nowhere in sight. At the first sign of tractors and other land-clearing equipment invading their habitat, glider parents evacuate tree hollows and ‘take off’ in terror, often dropping their babies in the process, Stefan explained.
Squirrel gliders need tall, mature trees with hollows and plentiful tree canopies to be able to forage, find shelter and connect with other glider populations safely, especially the younger gliders who “cannot glide the same distance that an adult glider can,” said Stefan.”
Habitat corridor development projects are a vital part of the conservation puzzle for squirrel gliders and benefit other wildlife
Whilst introduced feral pests are part of the problem, we still see healthy colonies of squirrel gliders, especially in locations where the habitat is large, connected, has adequate tree hollows and is floristically diverse, said Wildlife Queensland Projects Manager, Matt Cecil.
“Through building a habitat corridor for gliders that includes tree planting, we will see a range of benefits across many species, notably the koala,” said Matt.
The Wildlife Queensland Scenic Rim Branch in partnership with the Scenic Rim Council is ready to build corridors in identified areas of habitat loss and fragmentation in the Scenic Rim.
But we can’t do it without your help!
With ONLY HOURS TO GO, Wildlife Queensland’s dedicated appeal to raise $15,000 to restore squirrel glider habitat has raised $3,400. We are so grateful to all our donors so far!
Please, if you haven’t yet had a chance to support this special appeal, Wildlife Queensland NEEDS YOUR HELP.
A tax-deductible donation of just $2 or more can help ensure their long-term survival.
Together we CAN help them GLIDE, SURVIVE AND THRIVE!