16 March 2022
Before the latest ‘big wet’ arrived, our glider guru, Paul Revie, Project Officer for the Queensland Glider Network, put his gaiters on and went out searching for greater gliders in the Scenic Rim. Happily, Paul did find a greater glider – of course, the cheeky marsupial was just outside of the transect, but, as Paul says, “At least we know he was there.”
The work was part of a series of surveys being conducted in collaboration with Healthy Land and Water in areas affected by bushfires in 2019–2020, supported by the Australian Government’s Bushfire Recovery for Wildlife and their Habitats program.
Also capturing the attention of the Queensland Glider Network’s project officer was a (ubiquitous) brushtail possum, a well-camouflaged tawny frogmouth, an Australian owlet-nightjar, and a beautiful spotted quail-thrush seen on a steep ridge at Dingo Mountain Parklands (see images above).
“These birds are normally cryptic and shy, so getting a photograph was a real thrill,” says Paul.
Of course, the recent flooding means two things for our resident glider guys with Queensland Glider Network and the Yellow-Bellied Glider Project. First, there will be a need to revisit some survey sites, particularly to ensure greater glider friends like Gizmo and Wattle are still safely occupying home trees or installed nest boxes. And second, our team will face considerable difficulty accessing some survey sites in parts of the state for days or weeks.
“Australia is such a continent of extremes,” Paul adds. “While Josh Bowell, Jessica Lovegrove-Walsh and I have been out in past weeks and months surveying former fire-affected regions, the weather has had another catastrophe in store – flooding.”
While unforeseeable natural disasters are hazardous for people and wildlife, they are also agents of renewal in ecosystems, with both positive and negative effects on wildlife. If you encounter flood-affected wildlife or displaced gliders in need of rescue, please contact the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 265) or Wildcare on 07 5527 2444. Both operate 24/7.
“We’re always concerned with how our furred and feathers friends are faring after bushfires or floods. The knowledge that extreme weather like this can play havoc on populations of threatened species is one of the reasons we work hard to survey populations and bolster them, so they’re secure enough, physically and genetically, to withstand such catastrophes, especially as the Australian climate continues to change,” Paul adds.
Learn more about the Lockyer Valley’s greater gliders at a FREE event on 2 April
Unfortunately, Queensland Glider Network had to postpone the planned event for Camp Moogerah, but we know that community education about the conservation needs of gliders helps enlist members of the public in caring for these adorable gliding marsupials and their habitats.
Healthy Land and Water are currently running a half-day greater glider workshop in the Lockyer Valley at Gatton on 2 April 2022, and Paul Revie from Queensland Glider Network will be a guest speaker. Featuring a wildlife presentation by Geckoes Wildlife, a nest box building workshop with Safe & Co. and the chance to spotlight for gliders in the wild, it is an event not to be missed.