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Aussie Ark were thrilled this week to have discovered not only a mother Greater Glider but also her young baby, nestled inside a nest box within their Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary. Over 100 of a planned 1,000 nest boxes were installed at Aussie Ark in the Barrington Tops to provide housing for arboreal species which are animals that spend the majority of their life in trees, relying on hollows for shelter and rearing young. The nest boxes were installed as a necessary measure, following historic logging of the property. 

Aussie Ark Ranger Rory Francis says “This great discovery is what keeps us motivated because we love it and want to keep pushing, as it is not everyday you get to see a mum and baby Greater Glider nesting in nest boxes located in our Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary”

“Deforestation and bushfires have robbed this disappearing species of its home. The forest has recovered, but the homes for our wildlife haven’t. So seeing these vulnerable species utilise the homes we have provided for them as an intermediate step, is really special to see” continued Rory. 

Aussie Ark plans to install up to 1,000 nest boxes to help provide homes to Australian wildlife. You can help by donating today. Each nest box costs up to $150 to make and install. 

Aussie Ark stock the nest boxes with dried poa tussock grass and dried bracken fern. This native vegetation provides insulation for the nest box residents and their young, and has natural anti-flea/anti-tick properties. When the Greater Gliders go up to a nest box feeling safe and comfortable, they will extend their pouch and they will let the juvenile out to feed and relax. The discovery of the mother and juvenile Greater Gliders in these nest boxes, proves that the mother felt comfortable and safe to allow her bub out of her pouch.

“We have to make habitat for these arboreal species in the here and now, before we lose them. Aussie Ark have put in these nest boxes and have protected these ecosystems forever which is what we are all about.” says Aussie Ark ranger, Rory Francis.

Given the high dependence on forest and large hollow-bearing trees, habitat loss and fragmentation through clearing and bushfires pose a massive threat to Greater Gliders. 200 years ago, logging across Australia of the old growth occurred due to making way for infrastructure which has resulted in no old growth today. These nest boxes provide an intermediate step for necessary shelter whilst the landscape recovers and natural hollows become accessible.

The ongoing pressures of deforestation, urbanisation and predation from introduced feral animals, have resulted in Greater Gliders declining in population. Seeing this species utilise the nest boxes to raise their young, is an exciting discovery for Aussie Ark. It proves the success of the feral-free sanctuaries for this species to secure habitat that was once lost, minimising predation from feral predators. The Barrington Wildlife Sanctuary acts as one of the few feral-free strongholds for Greater Gliders within New South Wales and with the acquisition and fencing of new sanctuaries, such as Mongo Valley Wildlife Sanctuary.

Greater Gliders are Australia’s largest gliding mammal, which were once abundant along the east coast, but populations have declined by up to 80% in the last 20 years due to logging, land clearing, and the rising threat of bushfires linked to climate change.

We have a vision of creating a long term future for threatened Australian wildlife. You can support us by donating today!

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