Of the three glider species Feathertail (Acrobates pygmaeus), Sugar (Petaurus breviceps) and Squirrel (Petaurus norfolcencis) found along the Campaspe it is the Squirrel Glider which has become a major focus. This is due to the species being the only glider classified as ‘near threatened’ by the IUCN across its range in Australia. However, in Victoria, where Squirrel Glider populations are declining that they are regarded as ‘threatened/endangered’ by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. The Squirrel Glider nests in hollows in groups of up to 9 individuals. They feed on a wide variety of food from insects to tree sap and nectar. A close relative of the more commonly known Sugar Glider, the Squirrel Glider is almost twice its size with a fluffier tail. Found from Queensland along the eastern border of Australia, inland of the Great Dividing Range to Victoria where there are populations along the Murray, Goulburn and Campaspe rivers and an isolated population in the Grampians. In SA it is considered exceedingly rare and even ‘possibly extinct’ according to some sources. Since European settlement excessive clearing across Northern Victoria has resulted in only 6% of tree-cover remaining across the northern plains. As a result many local populations have unfortunately disappeared. We aim to assist in the conservation of the remaining populations within the Campaspe Shire through nest boxes, regular surveys and encouraging more awareness within local communities.
Image: Breeding pair of Squirrel Gliders found on a survey in Echuca in 2015, photo by Bruce Thomson
We also run a captive breeding program for Squirrel Gliders to learn more click the link below.