Have you ever… looked for squirrel gliders?

Some time ago I posted an article on the big Eucalyptus tree that I have in my garden. I have also done a previous post on an encounter with a squirrel glider. This week’s travel challenge from Ailsa at Where’s my backpack is “Wild” and it seemed timely to bring my previous two posts together with an update given something that happened recently.

I was quite delighted about a month ago, to be asked whether I would mind having a camera mounted in our tree for a week. The local university were doing research on squirrel gliders (which are a ‘threatened species’) and they wanted to find out whether these small creatures were living in our tree.

A number of things were favourable to this being the case, but mostly it was that the tree has numerous hollows due to its very old age (I estimate to to be nearing 200 years old and it will probably outlive me as long as no one goes near it with a chainsaw).

20130803-161602.jpg

The one thing that was against squirrel gliders being present is that the tree is a virtual island – there are no other big trees anywhere nearby, they have all been cut down many decades ago. I have lots of smaller trees and shrubs planted in the garden, but these are too young and bushy to provide a safe pathway for these creatures to follow.

Nevertheless, the camera was mounted, and opposite it (on another branch) was secured a funnel shaped container with some peanut butter inside (enticement to visit!).

20130803-161607.jpg

The camera was movement sensitive, so anytime something moved near the funnel, it took a series of photos.

20130803-161612.jpg

20130803-161556.jpg

After a week, the camera was taken down and the photos checked. Sadly, there was no sign of any squirrel glider activity, which was not unexpected, but still disappointing.

20130803-161618.jpg

Happily, the species was found in a row of large trees at the end of our street (about 200m from our tree), but the gap between the safe zones was too large for the animals to glide across without having to leave the trees. We do have a feral cat problem too, so I would prefer that the gliders stay where they are – nice and safe.

Have you ever seen or looked for squirrel gliders? Did you know that they spread their limbs, opening out membranes which act like wings, enabling them to glide from tree to tree?

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Australia, Have you ever..., Musings, Weekly challenges and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Have you ever… looked for squirrel gliders?

  1. restlessjo says:

    Only on TV documentaries, Madoqua, but they look quite amazing. 🙂

    Like

    • Madoqua says:

      They are the most beautiful little creatures Jo. Very shy and elusive and I think that gives them extra appeal.
      We have a new freeway near where we live, and there are now very tall poles installed at regular intervals across the roadways. These are for the gliders to cross the road without having to cross the ground and risk being hit by a vehicle.

      Like

  2. scrapydo says:

    Never seen them, only on TV. Glad there are poles which they can use to cross the road without being hit.

    Like

    • Madoqua says:

      It was interesting looking at photos of the gliders that the researchers had from other trees in the area (they put out about 45 cameras for the week). There were lots of sightings which I was quite excited about.
      One rarely sees the animals during the day and so most people have no idea that they are there.

      Like

  3. Ian Fraser says:

    Just once, many years ago, in the undeveloped western section of Cocoparra NP near Cowra; camping, and on dusk, one ‘glid’ across the sky nearby, notably bigger than a Sugar Glider. Remains one of the highlights of my wildlife-watching life. It’s great to hear that they seem to be doing OK down your way.

    Like

  4. Nortehanon says:

    We don’t have squirrel gliders in my country. But I googled them and they look interesting and cute, too!

    Like

This space is for you.....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s