Citizen Scientists enthralled in the discovery of greater gliders and their dens, 2023.


A Beacon of Hope for the Bulga Greater Glider

The greater glider (Petauroides volans) is one of Australia’s most iconic and unique marsupials, known for its remarkable gliding ability and distinctive appearance. Endemic to the eucalypt forests of eastern and southeastern Australia, these gentle creatures are primarily found in the tall, dense forests, preferring cooler, higher altitude forests. They are very sensitive to heat. Their habitat consists of old-growth forests with a diverse range of eucalypt species, providing ample food and shelter for the gliders.

As nocturnal animals, greater gliders spend their days nestled in tree hollows, using their large, furry tails as blankets to keep warm. Once night falls, they emerge to forage for their primary food source: eucalyptus leaves. With a specialized digestive system capable of breaking down the tough fibers of these leaves, greater gliders are highly adapted to their diet, which consists almost exclusively of eucalyptus foliage.

One of the most striking features of the greater glider is its impressive gliding ability, facilitated by a membrane of skin called a patagium that stretches from its wrists to its ankles. This membrane acts like a parachute, allowing the glider to glide effortlessly through the forest canopy, covering distances of up to 100 meters in a single glide. They are able to do a 90° turn midflight. This adaptation helps them efficiently navigate their forest habitat while conserving energy. 

Despite their remarkable adaptations, greater gliders face numerous threats to their survival. Their numbers have plummeted by 80% in the last 20 years. They are now federally listed as endangered. Habitat loss and fragmentation due to logging, as well as bushfires and higher temperatures are significant challenges for these animals. Climate change exacerbates these threats by altering the distribution and abundance of their preferred eucalypt species.

Conservation efforts aimed at protecting and restoring their habitat are crucial for the long-term survival of the greater glider and the preservation of Australia’s unique biodiversity. 

NSWFC has only managed to find a paltry 27 glider dens in the last 20 years. Mostly because they look for gliders at the wrong time of day. NSWFC have continually been accused or found to breach rules protecting habitats of endangered species. They have no interest in finding gliders, because if they do it means less forest can be logged. This is a systemic failure. The EPA suggests “almost 80 per cent of the corporation’s glider work does not satisfy strict new conditions.”*

It is up to citizen scientists to do the work that Forestry won’t. We are going out regularly if you’d like to join us, please contact us for dates. Gliders are usually spotted within an hour of sunset.

Every Greater Glider home we find gets a logging exclusion for a 50m radius around it. Come see these rare and beautiful creatures for yourself before it’s too late.

Immerse yourself in nature and make a real difference by collecting valuable data to protect endangered species. Your future self will thank you by spending a few hours/days helping save this extraordinary creature.  

By seeing a glider you can save a glider! 

Together Saving Bulga Forest

*Read article published 3rd May 2024: Forestry Corp faces fresh glider negligence claims