Greater Glider Petaroides volans in the Eurobodalla local government area - proposed endangered population listing

The Scientific Committee, established by the Threatened Species Conservation Act, has made a Preliminary Determination to support a proposal to list a population of the Greater Glider Petaroides volans Kerr 1792 in the Eurobodalla local government area as an ENDANGERED POPULATION in Part 2 of Schedule 1 of the Act. Listing of endangered populations is provided for by Part 2 of the Act.

The Scientific Committee has found that:

1. The Greater Glider Petaroides volans Kerr 1792 (family Pseudocheiridae) is not currently listed as an endangered species in Part 1 of Schedule 1 or a critically endangered species in Part 1 of Schedule 1A and as a consequence populations of this species are eligible to be listed as endangered populations.

2. The Greater Glider is a large gliding marsupial (900-1700g) that feeds exclusively on eucalypt leaves and buds. Greater Gliders shelter during the day in tree hollows and at night movements are primarily restricted to gliding between tree canopies. Adult Greater Gliders occupy a relatively small home range with an average size of 1 to 3 ha (Kavanagh and Wheeler 2004) from which they rarely disperse. A single young is born in late autumn or early winter, remains in the pouch for approximately 4 months and is independent at 9 months of age. There is little information on dispersal of sub-adults.

3. The distribution of the Greater Glider includes the ranges and coastal plain of eastern Australia, where it inhabits a variety of eucalypt forests and woodlands (Kavanagh 2004). Presence and density of Greater Gliders is related to soil fertility, eucalypt tree species, disturbance history and density of suitable tree hollows (Tyndale-Biscoe and Smith 1969, Kavanagh and Lambert 1990, Lindenmayer et al. 1990).

4. A population of Greater Gliders on the south coast of NSW is bounded by the Moruya River to the north, Coila Lake to the south and the Princess Highway and cleared land exceeding 500 m in width to the west. These barriers greatly restrict dispersal of Greater Gliders and this population is therefore disjunct from other occurrences of the species. Continuing loss of vegetation on private land near the Princess Highway will further isolate the population from extensive habitat occurring in Moruya State Forest and Deua National Park to the west.

5. The boundaries of the population encompass an area of c. 6280 ha, half of which (c. 3160 ha) supports native vegetation. This vegetation occurs principally in two blocks of 2040 and 1120 ha, which are poorly connected by a narrow corridor of scattered trees. Approximately 1770 ha of the native vegetation in the nominated area is of a type suitable for occupation by Greater Gliders (Gaia Research 2006).

6. Of the total native vegetation in the population area, 75% (c. 2320 ha) occurs on freehold land and 840 ha occurs in Eurobodalla National Park. A large proportion of the freehold land is zoned for rural small holdings. Future reduction in habitat area and quality is predicted to occur as a result of urban and rural residential development which poses a significant threat to this population of Greater Gliders.

7. The population of the Greater Glider Petaroides volans Kerr 1792 as defined above and occupying the Eurobodalla local government area is eligible to be listed as an endangered population as, in the opinion of the Scientific Committee it is facing a very high risk of extinction in New South Wales in the near future as determined in accordance with the following criteria as prescribed by the Threatened Species Conservation Regulation 2002:

Clause 19

The population is facing a very high risk of extinction in New South Wales in the near future as, in the opinion of the Scientific Committee, it satisfies any one or more of the following paragraphs and also meets the criteria specified in the following clauses:

    (a) it is disjunct or near the limit of its geographic range,


Clause 20

The size of the population has undergone, is observed, estimated, inferred or reasonably suspected to have undergone, or is likely to undergo within a time frame appropriate to the life cycle and habitat characteristics of the taxon, a large reduction based on:

    (b) geographic distribution, habitat quality or diversity, or genetic diversity.


Clause 21

The geographic distribution of the population is estimated or inferred to be highly restricted and:

(a) a projected or continuing decline is observed, estimated or inferred in:

    (ii) geographic distribution, habitat quality or diversity, or genetic diversity

Associate Professor Lesley Hughes

Chairperson

Scientific Committee

Proposed Gazettal date: 22/12/06

Exhibition period: 22/12/06 - 16/03/07

References:

Gaia Research (2006) 'Bingi landcare strategic landscape planning project.' A report prepared for the Bingi Landcare Group and Eurobodalla Shire Council by Gaia Research Pty Ltd.

Kavanagh RP, Lambert M (1990) Food selection by the Greater Glider, Petauroides volans: Is foliar nitrogen a determinant of habitat quality. Wildlife Research 17, 285-299.

Lindenmayer DB, Cunningham RB, Tanton MT, Smith AP, Nix HA (1990) Habitat requirements of the Mountain Brushtail Possum and the Greater Glider in the montane ash-type eucalypt forest of the central highlands of Victoria. Australian Wildlife Research 17, 467-478.

Kavanagh RP (2004) Distribution and conservation status of possums and gliders in New South Wales. In 'The biology of possums and gliders'. (Eds RL Goldingay and SM Jackson) pp. 130-148. (Surrey Beatty & Sons: Chipping Norton)

Kavanagh RP, Wheeler RJ (2004) Home-range of the greater glider Petauroides volans in tall montane forest of southeastern New South Wales, and changes following logging. In 'The biology of possums and gliders'. (Eds RL Goldingay and SM Jackson) pp. 413-425. (Surrey Beatty & Sons: Chipping Norton)

Tyndale-Biscoe CH, Smith RFC (1969) Studies of the marsupial glider, Schoinobates volans (Kerr). Journal of Animal Ecology 38, 651-659.

More information

Public consultation

This document was on public exhibition from 22 December 2006 to 16 March 2007. All submissions received during this period will be taken into account as the Scientific Committee prepares its final determination.

Page last updated: 28 February 2011