Efforts are underway to protect a group of marsupials in Queensland’s south-east after the gliders faced a range of threats and a loss of habitat.
Volunteers in the state’s Scenic Rim region are spending long nights hunting for gliders, which are being impacted by land clearing and other human activity.
The group sets out at sunset to scour bushland for the nocturnal marsupials which use folds of skin, similar to wings, to glide from tree to tree.
The Scenic Rim, west of the Gold Coast, is home to five out of Australia’s six glider species – the feather-tail, sugar, squirrel, yellow-bellied, and greater glider.
There are things people can do to protect wildlife – like keeping older trees they can nest in, and supporting the preservation of corridors of native bush, so animals can move around.Dr Ronda Green
Dr Ronda Green, from the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland, said the animals were not on the endangered list at the moment but destruction of their habitat in favour of more development may threaten the animals.
“It would be nice to know where they are and what they’re doing before that happens,” Dr Green said.
“That way we know how to prevent them from getting onto the endangered list.
“Habitat destruction, with increasing urbanisation and just the spread of human populations, with more dogs, more roads, more barbed wire fences.”
Scenic Rim Councillor Nadia O’Carroll said mapping and tracking gliders was not easy.
“Anyone who’s ever been out on a survey knows all too well, quite often you end up not finding or not seeing anything at all,” she said.
However, motion-sensing cameras were assisting in the task.
In recent months, volunteers had surveyed private properties and public land at Lake Moogerah, Running Creek, Kerry Valley, Kooralbyn, Mount Tamborine, Boonah and Mt Alford.
“We have reasonable records for them in the national parks but we don’t know where they are on private lands and other public areas,” Dr Green said.
“What we want to find out is how are they distributed throughout the Scenic Rim, where are the gaps in the connectivity between the habitat fragments that we could most profitably fill in.”
Information collected by the volunteers was also being used by Scenic Rim Regional Council to help guide planning decisions.
“There are things people can do to protect wildlife – like keeping older trees they can nest in, and supporting the preservation of corridors of native bush, so animals can move around,” Dr Green said.
Topics: endangered-and-protected-species, academic-research, marsupials, local-government, environmental-impact, environmental-management, activism-and-lobbying, beaudesert-4285, boonah-4310, southport-4215, toowoomba-4350
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