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Squirrel glider project

Squirrel GlidersSecuring viable populations is fundamental to threatened species recovery. A local area management plan (LAMP) is a map-based plan detailing the on-ground work needed to maintain local threatened species populations. It is voluntary and reliant on the support of local landholders and community who direct what work should be undertaken. LAMP management actions focus on increasing the size, quality and connectivity of habitat islands.

Squirrel Gliders (Petaurus norfolcensis) are small nocturnal gliding possums. In NSW, these charismatic marsupials are classed as Vulnerable, and threatened by the loss, fragmentation, and degradation of their habitat. The loss of large old trees, which provide nesting hollows and important food resources, is a major threat. Rural communities have an important part to play in ensuring the long-term future of Squirrel Gliders.

Squirrel Gliders are an iconic species in the Burrumbuttock area. The Burrumbuttock community has undertaken extensive revegetation work to provide habitat for Squirrel Gliders for the past 20 years. Residents are keen to ensure that Burrumbuttock Gliders survive well into the future by doubling the size of the existing population.

The LAMP project is guided by a steering committee consisting of Burrumbuttock landholders, Petaurus Education Group Inc., Wirraminna Environmental Education Centre, West Hume Landcare, Greater Hume Shire, the Office of Environment and Heritage and Murray Local Land Services.

Conservation and management of Squirrel Gliders

The Squirrel Glider LAMP Steering Committee and Project Team work closely with landholders to develop and implement a works program for their properties consistent with LAMP principles. The project aims to increase the size of the Burrumbuttock Squirrel Glider population from 555 individuals to 1000.

Planned activities

This five-year project has just begun its fourth year. Over the next two years the project will focus on:

  • Continuing to roll-out the on-ground works program by engaging one-on-one with Burrumbuttock landholders in target areas.
  • Fencing and revegetation to increase habitat and connections across the landscape
  • Replacing barbed wire with plain wire in high risk areas where Squirrel Gliders can easily get tangled and die.
  • Installing nest boxes in habitat where trees are less than 150 years old and lack suitable hollows.
  • Planting individual trees with large wire mesh stock-proof tree guards to create “stepping stones” between large old trees and habitat patches that are too far apart for Gliders to safely move between.

Achievements

The project’s key achievements so far, include:

  • Engaging 15 Burrumbuttock landholders who are all supporting Squirrel Glider conservation on their properties through the first on-ground works program.
  • Extensive fencing and revegetation to increase the size and quality of Squirrel Glider habitat, and the number of connections between habitat.
  • The installation of 150 stock-proof tree guards to to fill gaps between paddock trees and remnant vegetation patches, enabling gliders to move safely and avoid coming to the ground.
  • Over 40 ha of revegetation or enhancement of Squirrel Glider habitat.
  • Habitat assessments and Squirrel Glider surveys to quantify the current size of the Burrumbuttock Squirrel Glider population.
  • The establishment of a strong steering committee that guides decision-making.

A regular Squirrel Glider LAMP newsletter is produced for the project. To receive an emailed copy please contact Tracy Michael (details below).

For more information, please contact the project team:

Tracy Michael

Land Services Officer

Phone: 02 6051 2211

tracy.michael@lls.nsw.gov.au

Lou Bull

Squirrel Glider LAMP Project Officer

Petaurus Education Group

Phone: 0458 240 634

loubullpetaurus@gmail.com

Other resources:

Wirraminna Environmental Education Centre

Squirrel Glider LAMP video

Squirrel Glider Habitat Management Guide

Logos of Murray Local Land Services, Australian Government and National Landcare Programme The Squirrel Glider LAMP Project is funded by Catchment Action NSW and the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.