17 December 2020
Severe declines in Australia’s greater glider and yellow-bellied glider populations due to habitat destruction from land clearing and logging have been exacerbated by last Summer’s bushfire disaster, putting these iconic species at increased risk of extinction.
As a result, the greater glider and yellow-bellied glider have been included in the federal Threatened Species Scientific Committee’s priority assessment list, nominated for a status upgrade to Endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Queensland is home to these amazing glider species and Wildlife Queensland looks forward to any extra protection that an Endangered listing might bring about.
Wildlife Queensland’s dedicated Queensland Glider Network (QGN) has been supporting glider populations in Queensland since 2006, raising awareness of gliders and their habitat requirements through data collection, mapping and education initiatives.
Over the past month, QGN has continued monitoring glider populations across the Brisbane region and commenced the installation of new nest boxes at Sheep Station Creek Conservation Park. The network’s Yellow-bellied Glider Project team has surveyed a number of properties and installed acoustic monitors in the West Logan region, with some significant early findings.
Nest Box Monitoring Project: Greenbank, Logan City
QGN conducted routine nest box monitoring in the Greenbank/Springfield Lakes region of Brisbane during hot weather in the first week of December.
Part of an ongoing project on glider population conservation established by QGN in 2011, the project monitors nest box occupancy to track uptake over time and continue learning about nest box usage by native hollow dependant fauna.
We have some good results from our latest round of monitoring.
- Squirrel gliders with young were observed in three of the total boxes checked.
- Many boxes contained leaf nests characteristic of small glider occupation. This indicates that the boxes are being used, just not occupied at the time of monitoring.
- Brushtail possums were also identified in the nest boxes.
Greater Glider Nest Box Project – Sheep Station Creek Conservation Park
QGN is in the process of installing seven new Hollow Log Homes nest boxes in Sheep Station Creek Conservation Park in Caboolture and relocating nine older nest boxes into other areas within the reserve to maximise nest box availability for greater gliders, as part of a project funded under the Moreton Bay Regional Council community grants program to help protect greater gliders in the Moreton Bay Region (see: previous story: 16/10/2019).
The project is a continuation of Wildlife Queensland’s Greater Idea appeal project to learn more about greater glider nest box usage which, thanks to our generous donors and supporters, funded the installation of 18 nest boxes in the park in December 2017 (see: previous story: 28/09/2017).
QGN will monitor these boxes throughout 2021 to learn of greater glider use of this artificial hollow resource.
Yellow-bellied Glider Project
The QGN Yellow-bellied Glider Project team has been busy working with landholders in South East Queensland – surveying properties for signs of gliders and installing acoustic monitors and educating community members about gliders.
The volunteer-run project, which launched in August 2020, will research and document the distribution and occurrence of yellow-bellied gliders and greater gliders in South East Queensland and aims to increase conservation awareness for these threatened gliders with councils, private landholders, and the general public.
“We’re slowly edging in on the Greenbank population of yellow-bellied gliders and tracking where they’re moving through,” says Project Officer Josh Bowell.
“This work is made possible by the incredible help of the passionate landholders we’re currently working with.”
In October, the team began placing acoustic monitors (AudioMoths) on properties in the West Logan region where several confirmed sightings have been reported over the years.
To date, an analysis of two of the monitors has uncovered some significant findings.
“One moth picked up yellow-bellied glider calls every single night between 7.00 pm and 8.30 pm along with random calls throughout the night into the early morning. It also picked up a Powerful Owl among other things. This tells us the yellow-bellied gliders are in this area more frequently than originally thought,” says Josh.
“The second moth did not pick up any glider vocalisations this time, but it did, however, record a Barking Owl, a very rare species in South East Queensland and to us a very exciting result.”
The team has since deployed more AudioMoths at additional properties in the hope of learning more about this unknown population of yellow-bellied gliders in the West Logan region.
To find out more about the project and how you can get involved:
- visit the Queensland Glider Network webpage
- follow the @yellowbelliedgliderproject Instagram page
- like the @QueenslandGliderNetwork Facebook page.