Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Forested habitat has been extensively cleared in south-east Queensland. We used the Alex computer program to conduct a preliminary population viability analysis (PVA) for squirrel glidersPetaurus norfolcensis living in a set of habitat fragments, embedded in an urban matrix in Brisbane. Our basic aim was to guide management to ensure the long-term persistence of the squirrel glider in this region. Corridors linking the fragments in our study area are poorly vegetated and many are cut by arterial roads. Five remnants that we believe define the likely limit of glider dispersal (the glider metapopulation), had an unacceptably high probability of glider extinction after 100 years. When catastrophes such as wildlfire of modest frequency (1 in 20 years) were included, the probability of extinction increased. It appears that large nearby remnants must be functionally linked to the metapopulation to ensure long-term persistence. This may require some novel approaches to habitat restoration to achieve. The habitat quality of all connecting corridors must be enhanced to reduce mortality during dispersal. Edge effects such as tree die-back are also likely to reduce the available cover of habitat over time and will need to be managed. Our review of the life history of the squirrel glider has highlighted how poor our understanding is of most components that form important inputs to a PVA. The significance of this was evident by increasing annual mortality above the approximate values used. This led to a marked increase in the probability of metapopulation extinction, suggesting predictions should be viewed with caution. Further detailed field studies are needed to refine the use of PVA for the squirrel glider.

Beyer, G. 2003 The value of nest boxes in managing hollow-using arboreal marsupials. Honours thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore.
Bolger, D.T., Alberts, A.C., Sauvajot, R.M., Potenza, P., McCalvin, C., Tran, D., Mazzoni, S. and Soule, M.E. 1997. Response of rodents to habitat fragmentation in coastal southern Califonia. Ecological Applications 7: 552-63.
Braithwaite, L.W. 1983. Studies on the arboreal marsupial fauna of eucalypt forests being harvested for woodpulp at Eden, N.S.W. I. The species and distribution of animals. Australian Wildlife Research 10: 219-29.
Brisbane City Council 2002 State of Environment Report 2001. Brisbane City Council, Brisbane.
Brook, B.W. 2000. Pessimistic and optimistic bias in population viability analysis. Conservation Biology 14: 564-6.
Brook, B.W., Burgman, M.A., Akcakaya, H.R., O'Grady, J.J. and Frankham, R. 2002. Critiques of PVA ask the wrong questions: throwing the heuristic baby out with the numerical bath water. Conservation Biology 16: 262-3.
Catterall, C.P., Rowston, C. and Piper, S. 1996. Ecology of a squirrel glider Petaurus norfolcensis population within selected Cannon Hill bushlands. Report prepared for Brisbane City Council and Hudson Conway, Brisbane.
Catterall, C.P., Storey, R.J., and Kingston, M.B. 1997. Reality versus rhetoric: a case study monitoring regional deforestation. Pp. 367-77 in Conservation Outside Nature Reserves, edited by P. Hale & D. Lamb. Centre for Conservation Biology, University of Queensland, Brisbane.
Coulson, T., Mace, G.M., Hudson, E. and Possingham, H. (2001). The use and abuse of population viability analysis. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 16: 219-21.
Craig, S.A. 1985. Social organisation, reproduction and feeding behaviour of a population of yellow-bellied gliders, Petaurus australis (Petauridae: Marsupialia). Australian Wildlife Research 12: 1-18.
Davey, S.M. 1990. Methods for surveying the abundance and distribution of arboreal marsupials in a south coast forest of New South Wales. Australian Wildlife Research 17: 427-445.
Dobson, M., Goldingay, R.L. and Sharpe, D.J. (in press). Feeding behaviour of the squirrel glider in remnant habitat in Brisbane. Australian Mammalogy.
Ellner, S.P., Fieberg, J., Ludwig, D. and Wilcox, C. 2002. Precision of population viability analysis. Conservation Biology 16: 258-61.
Eyre, T.J. 2004. Distribution and conservation status of possums and gliders of southern Queensland. Pp. 1-25 in The Biology of Australian Possums and Gliders, edited by R.L. Goldingay and S.M. Jackson. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton, NSW.
Goldingay, R.L. 1992. The socioecology of the yellow-bellied glider, Petaurus australis, in a coastal forest. Australian Journal of Zoology 40: 267-78.
Goldingay, R.L. 1996. The green and golden bell frog Litoria aurea - from riches to ruins: conservation of a formerly common species. Australian Zoologist 30: 248-56.
Goldingay, R.L. and Kavanagh, R.P. 1995. Foraging behaviour and habitat use of the feathertail glider ( Acrobates pygmaeus) at Waratah Creek, New South Wales. Wildlife Research 22: 457-70.
Goldingay, R.L. and Daly, G. 1997. Surveys of arboreal and terrestrial mammals in the montane forests of Queanbeyan, New South Wales. Australian Mammalogy 20: 9-19.
Goldingay, R. and Lewis, B. 1999. Development of a conservation strategy for the green and golden bell frog in the Illawarra Region of NSW. Australian Zoologist 31: 376-87.
Goldingay, R.L. and Possingham, H.P. 1995. Area requirements for viable populations of the Australian gliding marsupial Petaurus australis. Biological Conservation 73: 161-7.
Hill, D. 1997 A comparative study of population viability models for squirrel gliders in Brisbane. Honours thesis. Griffith University, Queensland.
Jackson, S.M. 1999. Preliminary predictions of the impacts of habitat area and catastrophes on the viability of mahogany glider Petaurus gracilis populations. Pacific Conservation Biology 5: 56-62.
Jackson, S.M. 2000. Population dynamics and life history of the mahogany glider, Petaurusgracilis, and the sugar glider, Petaurus breviceps, in north Queensland. Wildlife Research 27: 21-37.
Kavanagh, R.P. 1984. Seasonal changes in habitat use by gliders and possums in south-eastern New South Wales. Pp. 527-543 in Possums and Gliders, edited by A.P. Smith and I.D. Hume. Australian Mammal Society, Sydney.
Kavanagh R. P. 2000. Effects of variable-intensity logging and the influence of habitat variables on the distribution of the Greater Glider Petauroides volans in montane forest, southeastern New South Wales. Pacific Conservation Biology 6:18-30.
Kavanagh, R.P. 2004. Distribution and conservation status of possums and gliders in New South Wales. Pp. 130-148 in The Biology of Australian Possums and Gliders edited by R.L. Goldingay and S.M. Jackson. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton, NSW.
Landsberg, J., Morse, J. and Khanna, P. 1990. Tree dieback and insect dynamics in remnants of native woodland on farms. Proceedings of the Ecological Society of Australia. Proc. Ecol. Soc. Aust. 16: 149-65.
Lindenmayer, D.B. and Possingham, H.P. 1995. Modelling the impacts of wildfire on the viability of metapopulations of the endangered Australian species of arboreal marsupial, Leadbeater's possum. Forest Ecology & Management 74: 197-222.
Lindenmayer, D.B. and Possingham, H.P. 1996. Modelling the inter-relationships between habitat patchiness, dispersal capability and metapopulation persistence of the endangered species, Leadbeater's possum, in south-eastern Australia. Landscape Ecology 11: 79-105.
Lindenmayer, D.B., Lacy, R.C. and Pope, M.L. 2000. Testing a simulation model for population viability analysis. Ecological Applications 10: 580-97.
McCarthy, M.A. and Lindenmayer, D.B. 2000. Spatially-correlated extinction in a metapopulation model of Leadbeater's possum. Biodiversity and Conservation 9: 47-63.
Menkhorst, P.W. 1995. Squirrel Glider. Pp 113-14. in Mammals of Victoria edited by P.W. Menkhorst. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.
Menkhorst, P.W., Weavers, B.W. and Alexander, J.S.A. 1988. Distribution, habitat and conservation status of the squirrel glider Petaurus norfolcensis (Petauridae: Marsupialia) in Victoria. Australian Wildlife Research 15: 59-71.
Millis, A.L. and Bradley, A.J. 2001. Reproduction in the squirrel glider, Petaurus norfolcensis (Petauridae), in south-east Queensland. Australian Journal of Zoology 49: 139-54.
Possingham, H.P. and Davies, I. 1995. ALEX: a model for the viability analysis of spatially structured populations. Biological Conservation 73: 143-50.
Possingham, H.P, Lindenmayer, D.B., and Norton, T.W. 1993. A framework for the improved management of threatened species based on population viability analysis (PVA). Pacific Conservation Biology 1: 39-45.
Possingham, H.P, Lindenmayer, D.B., Norton, T.W. and Davies, I. 1994. Metapopulation viability analysis of the greater glider Petauroides volans in a wood production area. Biological Conservation 70: 265-76.
Price, M.V. and P. Kelly. 1994. An age-structured demographic model for the endangered Stephens' kangaroo rat. Conservation Biology 8: 810-21.
Price, M.V., Kelly, P.A. and Goldingay, R.L. 1994. Distances moved by Stephens' kangaroo rat ( Dipodomys stephensi) and implications for management. Journal of Mammalogy 75: 929-39.
Quin, D.G. 1995. Population ecology of the squirrel glider ( Petaurus norfolcensis) and the sugar glider ( P. breviceps) (Marsupialia: Petauridae) at Limeburners Creek, on the central north coast of New South Wales. Wildlife Research 22: 471-505.
Quin, D.G., Smith, A.P. and Norton, T.W. 1996. Ecogeographic variation in size and sexual dimorphism in sugar gliders and squirrel gliders (Marsupialia: Petauridae). Australian Journal of Zoology 44: 19-45.
Rowston, C. 1998 The squirrel glider: an autecological study in a fragmented landscape. PhD thesis. Griffith University, Queensland.
Rowston, C. 2000a. Squirrel glider home ranges, movement patterns and habitat usage. Bushland Management & Consulting Services. Report prepared for Brisbane City Council, Brisbane.
Rowston, C. 2000b. Fitzgibbon squirrel glider study. Bushland Management & Consulting Services. Report prepared for Brisbane City Council, Brisbane.
Rowston, C., Catterall, C.P. and Hurst, C. 2002. Habitat preferences of squirrel gliders, Petaurus norfolcensis, in the fragmented landscape of southeast Queensland. Forest Ecology and Management 164: 197-209.
Sadler, L.M. and Ward, S.J. 1999. Coalitions in male sugar gliders: are they natural? Journal of Zoology 248: 91-96.
Sharpe, D. 1996 Foraging ecology of the squirrel glider. Honours Thesis, Southern Cross University, Lismore, NSW.
Sharpe, D.J. 2004. Effect of flower failure on a population of squirrel gliders ( Petaurus norfolcensis) in northeast New South Wales. Pp 339-349 in ‘The Biology of Australian Possums and Gliders’, edited by R. L. Goldingay and S. M. Jackson. Surrey Beatty and Sons, Chipping Norton, NSW.
Sharpe, D.J. and Goldingay, R.L. 1998. Feeding behaviour of the squirrel glider at Bungawalbin Nature Reserve, north-eastern New South Wales. Wildlife Research 25: 243-54.
Smith, A.P. 1984. Demographic consequences of reproduction, dispersal and social interaction in a population of Leadbeater's possum ( Gymnobelideus leadbeateri). Pp. 359-73. In Possums and Gliders, edited by A.P. Smith and I.D. Hume. Australian Mammal Society: Sydney.
Smith, A.P. and Murray, M. 2003. Habitat preferences of the squirrel glider ( Petaurus norfolcensis) and associated possums and gliders on the New South Wales central coast. Wildlife Research 30: 291-301.
Soule, M.E., Wilcox, B.A. and Holtby, C. 1979. Benign neglect: a model of faunal collapse in the game reserves of East Africa. Biological Conservation 15: 260-72.
Southgate, R. and Possingham, H. 1995. Modelling the reintroduction of the greater bilby Macrotis lagotis using the metapopulation model Analysis of the Likelihood of Extinction (ALEX). Biological Conservation 73: 151-60.
Strahan, R. 1995 The Mammals of Australia. Reed Books, Chatswood.
Suckling, G.C. 1984. Population ecology of the sugar glider, Petaurus breviceps, in a system of fragmented habitats. Australian Wildlife Research 11: 49-75.
Traill, B.J. 1998. Identification of squirrel gliders and sugar gliders in Victoria. Victorian Naturalist 115: 135-141.
van der Ree, R. 2000. Ecology of arboreal marsupials in a network of remnant linear habitats. PhD thesis, Deakin University, Melbourne.
van der Ree, R. 2002. The population ecology of the squirrel glider ( Petaurus norfolcensis) within a network of remnant linear habitats. Wildlife Research 29: 329-40.
van der Ree, R. and Bennett, A.F. 2003. Home range of the squirrel glider Petaurus norfolcensis in a network of linear habitats. Journal of Zoology (London) 259: 327-336.
van der Ree, R., Bennett, A.F. and Gilmore, D.C. 2003. Gap crossing by gliding marsupials: thresholds for use of isolated woodland patches in an agricultural landscape. Biological Conservation 115: 241-249.
Warren, J. & Associates 2000. Minnippi Community Links Golf Course Squirrel Glider ( Petaurus norfolcensis) Impact Assessment. Report prepared for Design Marketing & Management and BMD Group, Brisbane.
Winter, J.W., Dillewaard, H.A., Williams, S.E. and Bolitho, E.E. 2004. Possums and gliders of North Queensland: distribution and conservation status. Pp 26-50 in The Biology of Australian Possums and Gliders edited by R.L. Goldingay and S.M. Jackson. Surrey Beatty & Sons, Chipping Norton, NSW.
This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal