Yellow-bellied glider

Petaurus australis

Yellow-bellied gliders are found along the Eastern coast to the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range, from southern Queensland to Victoria in tall mature eucalypt forest generally in areas with high rainfall and nutrient rich soils. Being nocturnal daytime is spent in hollows of large trees.

At night Yellow-bellied gliders are vocal; they can be heard up to 500m meters away communicating with members of their group which can be 2 to 6 family members.  Communication usually begins with a high-pitched shriek and subsiding into a throaty rattle.

They glide through the trees using their large gliding membrane that extends from the wrist to the ankle. Glides are recorded to be over 100m. They have a large home range which can be 25+ hectares which they defend as they are fiercely territorial. They eat a variety of foods, which include insects, insect exudates, nectar and tree sap, the sap is extracted use their lower teeth from particular eucalypt trees, easily recognised by a distinctive V-shaped incision on the tree trunk.  Adults weigh 450 – 700 grams

The Yellow-bellied Glider is listed as Vulnerable under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. They require a specific set of resources for survival.  Because they only live and feed on specific species of gum tree, are particular about their choice of sap trees, their habitats and food sources are under constant threat.

We can all help to preserve this and other endangered species by planting native trees and shrubs in our backyards. These small undertakings create wildlife corridors which assist these gliders’ and other wildlife safe passage to shelter and feeding trees.