Gliders

The Nature Conservation Trust’s (NCT) conservation work on private lands is helping to protect habitat for a range of gliders, including the squirrel glider, yellow-bellied and greater glider species. All three gliders are NCT priority flagship species.

Within Australia’s woodlands and forests, glider species occupy a specialized niche. They are acutely dependent on trees for habitat and food, and respond rapidly to changes in their coveted environment.

Gliders are highly mobile and, in the case of the yellow-bellied glider, occupy home ranges as large as 85 hectares, over which they forage seasonally. With the exception of the greater glider, these attractive nocturnal creatures also live in family or social groups, so entire families may be dependent on a patch of forest.

The greatest threat to gliders comes from the destruction and alteration of their woodland and forest habitat. Gliders need mature forests with lots of tree hollows to nest in. When these are lost – due to clearing for agriculture or urban development – or their habitat becomes isolated, gliders can become easy targets for invasive species such as owls, foxes and cats.

The Nature Conservation Trust believes that private land conservation is crucial to the survival of our threatened gliders and we are working with our rural partners to safeguard their future through improved land management and conservation agreements.

The squirrel glider is sparsely distributed in eastern Australia, inhabiting mature or old growth box, box-ironbark woodlands and river red gum forest west of the Great Dividing Range.

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The sociable and vocal yellow-bellied glider is the largest of its family and renowned for its gurgling shrieks. Adults can weigh up to 700 grams and their large bushy tail sometimes measures 45 centimetres. Throughout NSW, the glider is considered vulnerable.

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The greater glider is the longest glider in the world and can glide up to 100 metres. The greater glider communicates using scent, instead of sound, and is recognised by its large, furry ears.

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