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