Clearing of native vegetation for urban and rural development constitutes one of the major threats to conservation of forest-dependent fauna in New SouthWales. The Hills Shire is an extensively forested local government area in northwestern Sydney which is experiencing rapid population growth and the associated expansion of residential and infrastructure development in both urban and rural areas. The Yellow-bellied Glider is one of many threatened species occurring in the Shire and information about this species' habitat requirements is needed for conservation planning. This study tested the hypothesis that the occurrence of Swamp Mahogany Eucalyptus robusta is an important factor explaining the distribution of the Yellow-bellied Glider in The Hills Shire. Spotlighting and call broadcast surveys for this and five other threatened species were undertaken on four occasions at each of 33 randomly-located sites stratified by proximity (<500 m and >1500 m) to forest containing Swamp Mahogany. The Yellow-bellied Glider was detected at 10 sites and was significantly more likely to occur at sites where Swamp Mahogany was present. Yellow-bellied Gliders were strongly associated with forests on alluvial soils occurring below 20 m elevation where Swamp Mahogany was present. Swamp Mahogany appears to be indicative of locations where a confluence of factors, including the forest types on adjacent slopes and ridges, results in favourable habitat for the gliders. The food resources provided by the winter-flowering Swamp Mahogany and other river-flat eucalypts, including Forest Red Gum E. tereticornis, is also thought to be important. The population of Yellow-bellied Gliders in The Hills Shire, based on all known records, was estimated to be 50 to 75 individuals occurring in at least 15 family groups most of which were distributed within seven core areas. The conservation of the Yellow-bellied Glider in the Shire requires the protection of these core areas and the existing forested corridors linking them. The Yellow-bellied Glider population in The Hills Shire is geographically isolated and warrants consideration for listing as an endangered population under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.
Distribution, habitat preference and conservation status of the Yellow-bellied Glider (Petaurus australis) in The Hills Shire, northwestern Sydney
- Views Icon Views
- PDF LinkPDF
- Share Icon Share
- Search Site
Peter Irish, Rodney Kavanagh; Distribution, habitat preference and conservation status of the Yellow-bellied Glider (Petaurus australis) in The Hills Shire, northwestern Sydney. Australian Zoologist 1 January 2011; 35 (4): 941–952. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/AZ.2011.046
Download citation file:
If you are a current RZS NSW member (with publications), please access the full text of papers by visiting https://www.rzsnsw.org.au/member-centre/publications (you will be asked to log in to RZS NSW). Do not log in at the top of this page for access.