Skip to Main Content
Skip Nav Destination

Two very similar arboreal marsupials occur in subtropical eastern Australia: the sugar gliderPetaurus breviceps, and the squirrel gliderP. norfolcensis. Both are dependent on forest and do not occur once tree cover has been removed. Maps of the pre-European and recent extent of rainforest in south east Queensland were compiled from a range of sources and compared with past (1820-1974) and recent (1975-1996) site records of the two glider species, also drawn from a range of sources.P. breviceps occurred commonly in rainforest and related vegetation types in both historical and recent times, whileP. norfolcensis occurred mainly in drier forest types. Interspecific competition is a likely cause of these broad habitat differences between the two glider species, with squirrel gliders being competitively superior, but exhibiting a narrower range of preferred habitats.

Rainforest has been cleared from large areas, especially in the lowlands, and this would have reduced sugar glider numbers. However, the species is still present in small rainforest patches, such as riparian strips within drier lowland forests, and appears secure in upland rainforest reserves.

The squirrel glider, a nationally more threatened species, would have been less affected by historical deforestation but now faces contemporary clearing of lowland eucalypt associations. It may experience a rapid decline within the urbanising south-east Queensland lowlands unless substantially more remnant vegetation is protected than seems likely under current vegetation management legislation.

Alexander, J. S. A. 1981 The Status of the Squirrel Glider, Petaurus norfolcensis (Marsupialia: Petauridae) in Victoria. Hons thesis. La Trobe Univerity, Vic.
Bennett, A. F., Lumsden, L. F., Alexander, J. S. A., Duncan, P. E., Johnson, P. G., Robertson, P. and Silveira, C. E. 1991. Habitat use by arboreal mammals along an environmental gradient in north-eastern Victoria. Wildlife Research 18: 125-146.
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: 219-229.
Catterall, C. P. and Kingston, M. 1993 Remnant Bushland of South East Queensland in the 1990's: its Distribution, Loss, Ecological Consequences, and Future Prospects. Institute of Applied Environmental Research, Griffith University and Brisbane City Council, Brisbane.
Catterall, C. P., Storey, R. J. and Kingston, M. B. 1997. Reality versus rhetoric: a case study monitoring regional deforestation. Pp. 367-377 in Conservation Outside Nature Reserves, edited by P. Hale and D. Lamb. Centre for Conservation Biology, University of Queensland.
Chappell, M. A. 1978. Behavioural factors in the altitudinal zonation of chipmunks ( Eutamias). Ecology 59: 565-579.
Connell, J. H. 1983. On the prevalence and relative importance of interspecific competition: evidence from field experiments. The American Naturalist 122: 661-696.
Davey, S. M. 1984. Habitat preferences of arboreal marsupials within a coastal forest in southern New South Wales. Pp. 509-516 in Possums and Gliders, edited by A. P Smith and I. D. Hume. Australian Mammal Society, Sydney, NSW.
Fleay, D. 1947. The squirrel glider. Victorian Naturalist 70: 208-210.
Kingston, M., Catterall, C.P. and Kenyon, R. 1991 Remnant Bushland of South East Queensland (1989) Map Series. Institute of Applied Environmental Research, Griffith University, Qld.
Menkhorst, P. W. and Collier, M. 1987. Diet of the squirrel glider, Petaurus norfolcensis (Marsupialia: Petauridae), in Victoria. Australian Mammalogy 11: 109-116.
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.
Quin, D. G. 1993. Socioecology of the Squirrel Glider and the Sugar Glider. PhD thesis. University of New England.
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.
Rowston, C. 1998a. Nest and refuge tree usage by squirrel gliders, Petaurus norfolcensis, in south east Queensland. Wildlife Research 25: 157-164.
Rowston, C. 1998b The Squirrel Glider: An Autecological Study in a Fragmented Landscape. PhD Thesis. Griffith University, Qld.
Rowston, C., Catterall, C. P. and Hurst, C. 2002. Habitat preferences of squirrel gliders, Petaurus norfolcensis, in the fragmented landscape of south east Queensland. Forest Ecology and Management.
Russell, R. 1995. Yellow-bellied glider. Pp. 226-227 in The Mammals of Australia, edited by R. Strahan. Reed books, NSW.
Smith, A. 1980. The Diet and Ecology of Leadbeater's Possum and the Sugar Glider. PhD thesis. Monash University.
Smith, A. P. 1982. Diet and feeding strategies of the marsupial sugar glider in temperate Australia. Journal of Animal Ecology 51: 149-166.
Smith, A. 1993. Sugar glider possums to the rescue. Australian Horticulture 91: 16-17.
Smith, A. and Lee, A. 1984. The evolution of strategies for survival and reproduction in possums and gliders. Pp. 17-33 in Possums and Gliders, edited by A. P Smith and I. D. Hume. Australian Mammal Society, Sydney, NSW.
Smith, M.J. 1973 Petaurus breviceps.Mammalian species 30: 1-5.
Strahan, R. (ed.) 1995 The Mammals of Australia. Reed Books, Chatswood, N.S.W.
Suckling, G. C. 1984. Population ecology of the sugar glider, Petaurus breviceps, in a system of fragmented habitats. Australian Wildlife Research 11: 49-75.
Suckling, G. C. 1995. Squirrel Glider. Pp. 140 in The Mammals of Australia, edited by R. Strahan. Angus and Robertson Publishers, Sydney, NSW.
Traill, B.J. and Lill, A. 1997. Use of tree hollows by two sympatric gliding possums, the squirrel glider, Petraurus norfolcensis and the sugar glider, P. breviceps.Australian Mammalogy 20: 79-88.
Tyndale-Biscoe, C.H. and Calaby, J.H. 1975. Eucalypt forest as refuge for wildlife. Australian Forestry 38: 117-133.
Van Dyck, S. 1993. The taxonomy and distribution of Petaurus gracilis (Marsupialia: Petauridae), with notes on its ecology and conservation status. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 33: 77-122.
Webb, L. J. 1956 Environmental Studies in Australian Rainforests. PhD thesis. University of Queensland.
Winter, J. W. 1984. Conservation studies of tropical rainforest possums. Pp. 469-481 in Possums and Gliders, edited by A. P. Smith and I. D. Hume. Australian Mammal Society, Sydney, NSW.
Young, P. 1990. Vegetation of the Brisbane River. Pp. 83-89 in The Brisbane River. A Source Book for the Future, edited by P. Davie, E. Stock and D. Low Choy. Australian Littoral Society Inc. in association with the Queensland Museum, Brisbane.
Young, P. A. R. and Dillewaard, H. A. 1999. Southeast Queensland. Pp. 12/1-12/75 in The Conservation Status of Queensland's Bioregional Ecosystems, edited by P. Sattler and R. Williams. Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane.
Young, P. A. R. and McDonald, W. J. F. 1987. The distribution, composition and status of the rainforests of southern Queensland. Pp 119-141 in The Rainforest Legacy: Australian National Rainforests Study. Volume 1-The Nature, Distribution and Status of Rainforest Types, edited by G. Werren and P. Kershaw. Australian Government Publishing Services, Canberra, ACT.
Ziv, Y., Ambramsky, Z., Kotler, B. P. and Subach, A. 1993. Interference competition and temporal and habitat partitioning in two gerbil species. Oikos 66: 237-246.
This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.

Contents

Figures & Tables

References

Alexander, J. S. A. 1981 The Status of the Squirrel Glider, Petaurus norfolcensis (Marsupialia: Petauridae) in Victoria. Hons thesis. La Trobe Univerity, Vic.
Bennett, A. F., Lumsden, L. F., Alexander, J. S. A., Duncan, P. E., Johnson, P. G., Robertson, P. and Silveira, C. E. 1991. Habitat use by arboreal mammals along an environmental gradient in north-eastern Victoria. Wildlife Research 18: 125-146.
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: 219-229.
Catterall, C. P. and Kingston, M. 1993 Remnant Bushland of South East Queensland in the 1990's: its Distribution, Loss, Ecological Consequences, and Future Prospects. Institute of Applied Environmental Research, Griffith University and Brisbane City Council, Brisbane.
Catterall, C. P., Storey, R. J. and Kingston, M. B. 1997. Reality versus rhetoric: a case study monitoring regional deforestation. Pp. 367-377 in Conservation Outside Nature Reserves, edited by P. Hale and D. Lamb. Centre for Conservation Biology, University of Queensland.
Chappell, M. A. 1978. Behavioural factors in the altitudinal zonation of chipmunks ( Eutamias). Ecology 59: 565-579.
Connell, J. H. 1983. On the prevalence and relative importance of interspecific competition: evidence from field experiments. The American Naturalist 122: 661-696.
Davey, S. M. 1984. Habitat preferences of arboreal marsupials within a coastal forest in southern New South Wales. Pp. 509-516 in Possums and Gliders, edited by A. P Smith and I. D. Hume. Australian Mammal Society, Sydney, NSW.
Fleay, D. 1947. The squirrel glider. Victorian Naturalist 70: 208-210.
Kingston, M., Catterall, C.P. and Kenyon, R. 1991 Remnant Bushland of South East Queensland (1989) Map Series. Institute of Applied Environmental Research, Griffith University, Qld.
Menkhorst, P. W. and Collier, M. 1987. Diet of the squirrel glider, Petaurus norfolcensis (Marsupialia: Petauridae), in Victoria. Australian Mammalogy 11: 109-116.
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.
Quin, D. G. 1993. Socioecology of the Squirrel Glider and the Sugar Glider. PhD thesis. University of New England.
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.
Rowston, C. 1998a. Nest and refuge tree usage by squirrel gliders, Petaurus norfolcensis, in south east Queensland. Wildlife Research 25: 157-164.
Rowston, C. 1998b The Squirrel Glider: An Autecological Study in a Fragmented Landscape. PhD Thesis. Griffith University, Qld.
Rowston, C., Catterall, C. P. and Hurst, C. 2002. Habitat preferences of squirrel gliders, Petaurus norfolcensis, in the fragmented landscape of south east Queensland. Forest Ecology and Management.
Russell, R. 1995. Yellow-bellied glider. Pp. 226-227 in The Mammals of Australia, edited by R. Strahan. Reed books, NSW.
Smith, A. 1980. The Diet and Ecology of Leadbeater's Possum and the Sugar Glider. PhD thesis. Monash University.
Smith, A. P. 1982. Diet and feeding strategies of the marsupial sugar glider in temperate Australia. Journal of Animal Ecology 51: 149-166.
Smith, A. 1993. Sugar glider possums to the rescue. Australian Horticulture 91: 16-17.
Smith, A. and Lee, A. 1984. The evolution of strategies for survival and reproduction in possums and gliders. Pp. 17-33 in Possums and Gliders, edited by A. P Smith and I. D. Hume. Australian Mammal Society, Sydney, NSW.
Smith, M.J. 1973 Petaurus breviceps.Mammalian species 30: 1-5.
Strahan, R. (ed.) 1995 The Mammals of Australia. Reed Books, Chatswood, N.S.W.
Suckling, G. C. 1984. Population ecology of the sugar glider, Petaurus breviceps, in a system of fragmented habitats. Australian Wildlife Research 11: 49-75.
Suckling, G. C. 1995. Squirrel Glider. Pp. 140 in The Mammals of Australia, edited by R. Strahan. Angus and Robertson Publishers, Sydney, NSW.
Traill, B.J. and Lill, A. 1997. Use of tree hollows by two sympatric gliding possums, the squirrel glider, Petraurus norfolcensis and the sugar glider, P. breviceps.Australian Mammalogy 20: 79-88.
Tyndale-Biscoe, C.H. and Calaby, J.H. 1975. Eucalypt forest as refuge for wildlife. Australian Forestry 38: 117-133.
Van Dyck, S. 1993. The taxonomy and distribution of Petaurus gracilis (Marsupialia: Petauridae), with notes on its ecology and conservation status. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 33: 77-122.
Webb, L. J. 1956 Environmental Studies in Australian Rainforests. PhD thesis. University of Queensland.
Winter, J. W. 1984. Conservation studies of tropical rainforest possums. Pp. 469-481 in Possums and Gliders, edited by A. P. Smith and I. D. Hume. Australian Mammal Society, Sydney, NSW.
Young, P. 1990. Vegetation of the Brisbane River. Pp. 83-89 in The Brisbane River. A Source Book for the Future, edited by P. Davie, E. Stock and D. Low Choy. Australian Littoral Society Inc. in association with the Queensland Museum, Brisbane.
Young, P. A. R. and Dillewaard, H. A. 1999. Southeast Queensland. Pp. 12/1-12/75 in The Conservation Status of Queensland's Bioregional Ecosystems, edited by P. Sattler and R. Williams. Environmental Protection Agency, Brisbane.
Young, P. A. R. and McDonald, W. J. F. 1987. The distribution, composition and status of the rainforests of southern Queensland. Pp 119-141 in The Rainforest Legacy: Australian National Rainforests Study. Volume 1-The Nature, Distribution and Status of Rainforest Types, edited by G. Werren and P. Kershaw. Australian Government Publishing Services, Canberra, ACT.
Ziv, Y., Ambramsky, Z., Kotler, B. P. and Subach, A. 1993. Interference competition and temporal and habitat partitioning in two gerbil species. Oikos 66: 237-246.
Close Modal

or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal