News

Keep an eye out for gliders in Mitchell Shire

By David Rak

Mitchell Shire residents are being asked to keep an eye out for an endangered species of glider as part of a citizen science project.

The Strathbogie Ranges Conservation Management Network (SRCMN) has connected with Biolinks Alliance to create Glideways, a project supported by the Ross Trust.

The goal of Glideways is to identify places currently used by gliders, and to map gaps as sites for future restoration, revegetation and nesting box monitoring projects.

The landscape expansion and corridor reconnection will support wildlife population growth.

SRCMN’s Janet Hagen has observed glider marsupials on her property, hanging out in tree canopies and calling hollows home.

The species - such as squirrel, sugar, greater and feather-tailed gliders - leap extraordinary distances among the trees.

“There has to be something to leap to,” she said.

“Over time, our regional landscapes have become increasingly disconnected. That makes it difficult for wildlife to settle in or safely pass through.

“The more private and public spaces we observe now, the more sightings we gather, the clearer our data picture will become. And that’s why citizen science is such an important piece of the puzzle.”

Janet said citizen science was easy for anyone to get involved in and has become more important than ever.

“You don’t need qualifications or experience. All you have to do is pay attention in nature, and follow your senses. And if you do observe gliders on or around your property, let us know,” she said.

The SRCMN along with Biolinks Alliance has put together a series of short videos to show people how to check nesting boxes and use wildlife cameras to monitor fauna on their properties.

They are calling for historic sightings of gliders as well as phascogales, and are also interested in connecting with landholders who have installed nesting boxes on their properties.

If you’ve spotted a glider or phascogale in the past, or if you have a nesting box for wildlife on your property, you’re invited to submit the information at biolinksalliance.org.au/glideways-in-the-melbourne-ark or to contact Tania Begg at [email protected]biolinksalliance.org.au