The Hunt for Gliders

Wildlife Safe Havens Glider Project - Bushfire Recovery Strategy for Byron Shire

The Hunt for Gliders

Wildlife Safe Havens Glider Project - Bushfire Recovery Strategy for Byron Shire

Collaborations -


The issue

In the Byron Shire, the 2019 Mt Nardi fire directly impacted Upper Coopers Creek and Huonbrook impacting on the old hollow bearing trees.

Greater and Squirrel Gliders are listed as threatened under the BC Act 2016 and EPBC Act 1999. Feathertail Gliders, Sugar Gliders and other small aboreal mammals are all in decline. The fire exacerbated the existing threatening processes creating a habitat crisis.

Surrounding National Park and private land at Goonengerry and Mt Jerusalem offered refugia for the gliders during the fires. The burnt forest now has fewer hollows and will take a long time to recover. Habitat solutions are needed for Gliders as they need a number of hollows within their home range.

The solution

Private landholders are part of the solution, creating Wildlife Safe Havens. BVL runs a wider Wildlife Safe Havens project targeting other species at risk and has a large base of interested landholders. 

Through a Landcare Led Bushfire Recovery Grant we partnered with WildBNB Wildlife Habitat to deliver immediate habitat support for Gliders (Greater, Squirrel, Feathertail and Sugar) on both private and NPWS land through:

- Installation of 60 glider-specific habitat solutions, trialing a mix of 48 nest boxes with 12 hollow augmentations (fast-tracking the natural hollow forming process using highly specialised aborist skills in identified trees)

- Address existing fragmentation of suitable glider habitat by extending corridor connectivity from National Parks to private land managed by actively engaged Landcare members.

- Monitor project sites in five cycles of on-ground surveys deploying telescopic pole camera and song meter technology.

Conduct habitat assessments (inc food trees) and hollow audits on project sites including assessment of feral pest impacts.

- Conduct 4 spotlighting surveys with participating landholders, deploying audio call technology, and embedding citizen science into monitoring.

Analysis of Project monitoring data by specialist ecologist and share findings.

The impact

Greater Gliders we found and continued to be monitored at the Upper Main Arm site – it is the first time this species has been recorded in the Byron Shire (BioNet Atlas) since 2001.

Sugar Glider population at the Myocum and Upper Main Arm sites are using the nest boxes installed as part of this project.

Key facts

  • Greater glider found for the first time in 21 years.
  • 60 nestboxes and hollows installed
  • Different types of boxes installed
  • Big Tree survey conducted to identify important hollow bearing trees

Project Partners