Habitat relief for Squirrel Gliders
Squirrel glider populations in the Hunter region are facing immense pressure from habitat fragmentation and loss. These shy and elusive gliders have to compete with many bird and mammal species for the ever-declining availability of nesting hollows to breed and shelter in. In addition, their food source within the mid-storey flowering shrubs has also drastically diminished. With a preference for established coastal bushland and woodlands below 100m of elevation, much of the habitat preferred by squirrel gliders is also the first choice of us humans! The survival of local populations remains uncertain.
So, unfortunately, the squirrel glider (Petaurus norfolcensis) is now listed as Vulnerable under the NSW Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016.
Fear not, help is on the way! A special project run by the Hunter Community Environment Centre (HCEC), kindly funded by the City of Newcastle, is supporting the provision of essential habitat for gliders. The project is also providing participants with the knowledge and resources needed to shape more ambitious conservation outcomes for this unique threatened species.
How can you help?
In Newcastle, the Glenrock, Blackbutt and Blue Gum Hills reserve areas provide the best squirrel glider habitat and have the highest number of sightings. However glider numbers in this LGA are still much lower than other local LGA’s due to the higher urban density and tenuous, highly fragmented corridors.
The Habitat Relief Project is focused on enhancing squirrel glider habitat and promoting awareness of this threatened species in the community. Here are some of the activities already underway and some still in the planning:
- Planting food-trees
- Installing & inspecting nest boxes in strategic locations across Newcastle
- Installing & monitoring trail cameras
- Spotlighting & habitat scouting
- Compiling footage & field data
- Community outreach & awareness-raising
- Workshops & skill-shares.
The Hunter Community Environment Centre invites you to join them in the field on Saturday June 11 to help install nestboxes and plant food-trees for Squirrel Gliders in Newcastle. Places are limited – sign up today!
We hope you can join us! If you can’t make it on Saturday June 11 or on August 13, there will be more dates announced soon. So, please register for updates here.
HCEC will be documenting this project as it unfolds via facebook, instagram & twitter.
For more information and to register as a volunteer – see the Hunter Community Environment Centre webpage.