Squirrel Gliders finding new homes in donated power poles
Published: 05 Sep 2019 10:39am
Endangered squirrel gliders are moving out of harms reach thanks to an important project in the Birramal Conservation Area, an increasingly popular site for observing native wildlife.
Wagga Wagga City Council’s Glider Pole Project has seen 27 donated power poles installed through the conservation area to allow local fauna move more securely while they search for food, habitat or a mate.
The strategically-placed poles provide a safe corridor for the animals to move across areas where native vegetation or trees are sparse.
The 127-hectare site is home to Box Gum Woodland, a vegetation type that is listed as critically endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.
Many of the threatened and endangered animals in the Local Government Area rely on this vegetation community to survive.
Squirrel gliders, a nocturnal marsupial, are particularly reliant on woodland areas featuring eucalypts.
The nocturnal marsupial is capable of gliding 30 to 40 metres between trees, however gaps of more than 50 metres can leave the animals vulnerable to predators.
The poles, donated by Transgrid, are helping to bridge the gaps, while also providing nest boxes positioned away from roadsides.
Council’s Manager of Environment and City Compliance Mark Gardiner said the project was important to maintaining the conservation area.
“It is a crucial habitat for a variety of native flora and fauna, including the population of squirrel gliders which is classified as an Endangered Population in the Wagga Wagga Local Government Area,” Mr Gardiner said.
“There is the opportunity to develop this project which will ultimately assist the gliders with seamless movement through their natural habitat.
“Glider poles have been installed and monitored in the north of the State along major roads. Studies have shown the poles are used by the gliders and give them more opportunity to safely move through the area.”
The Glider Pole Project was grant funded from the New South Wales Environmental Trust, and proudly supported by Origin Energy.
- The Squirrel Glider is much larger, and less common, than the Sugar Glider.
- Adults are around 18 to 23cm in length, weighing between 190 and 300 grams.