SQUIRREL GLIDER

Listed as vulnerable in NSW under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (TSC Act).

Appearance

Blue-grey or brown-grey fur on their back and a white belly. They have a black stripe from their eyes to the mid-back and the end of their tail is also black. The squirrel glider is 18-23cm long, about twice the size of the related sugar glider, and it has a bushy tail around 27cm in length. They have a flying membrane that extends from their front finger to the back of their foot, on either side.  This allows them to glide over distances of over 50m, from tree to tree.

The squirrel glider’s bushy, black tail is what distinguishes it from the sugar glider.

Habitat

This species inhabit mature or old growth dry sclerophyll forests and woodland areas, such as Box, Box-Ironbark woodlands and River Red Gum forest. They are nocturnal and take shelter in tree hollows. They are agile climbers and can glide for more than 50m in one movement, from tree to tree.

The squirrel glider is a communal species, meaning they live in family groups of one adult male, several adult females and their juvenile offspring.

Diet

Feeds mostly on fruit and insects, Eucalypt sap, Acacia gum, honeydew, pollen, nectar, leaves and bark.

Breeding

The breeding season is between June and January.  They have only 1-2 offspring per year after a gestation period of 18 days. Offspring stay in the pouch for about 3 months and become independent after 10 months and leave the family.

Predators

Preyed upon by owls, dogs, cats and foxes.

Human activities of removing large hollow bearing trees (logging, paddock tree removal) as well as clearing and breaking up their habitat are a major threat to the survival of the gliders. 

Life expectancy

4-6 years