Mahogany Glider

Petaurus gracilis

Status

Endangered (State & Commonwealth)

Problem

Most of the Mahogany Glider's coastal tropical woodland habitat has been destroyed. Mahogany Gliders are now found mainly on fragmented patches of leasehold or private land. Less than half of existing habitat is contained in land managed by the Department of Environment and Resource Management. Fragmentation and isolation of populations and decline in habitat quality are the major problems faced by this species.

Background Information

The Mahogany Glider was already endangered by the time it was rediscovered in 1989. Over 80% of its habitat had been cleared for sugar cane, plantation pine, bananas and cattle. There are only approximately 1500 Mahogany Gliders left in the wild.

Research

Research by the Queensland Museum led to the rediscovery of the Mahogany Glider in 1989. It had been lost to science for over a century. The research revealed its dependence on a broad range of woodland foods such as blossom nectar, plant exudates (saps), insects, lichen (a type of plant made of a combination of alga and fungus) and wattle arils. More importantly, the research highlighted its endangered status.

Solution

Known habitat must be acquired, maintained and connected by corridors. Habitat volume must be increased and its quality improved. Populations must be maintained and monitored. Land management regimes (fire management, weed control, grazing, barbed wire replacement) must be developed and implemented for all Mahogany Glider habitat.

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