Burrumbuttock Squirrel glider LAMP project

Connecting communities and conservation through long-term on-ground projects

Burrumbuttock Squirrel glider LAMP project

Connecting communities and conservation through long-term on-ground projects

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The issue

Squirrel gliders (Petaurus norfolcensis) are an icon species in the Burrumbuttock area in southern NSW. While this glider has a wide distribution, it is considered rare throughout most of its range as it has specific habitat requirements. The loss of high-quality habitat has led to Squirrel gliders being listed as Vulnerable under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act. They are likely to become endangered unless proactive conservation on-ground interventions are carried out.  West Hume Landcare and the local community has been driving revegetation work on farms, crown land and roadsides to provide habitat for gliders for over 25 years. They are keen to ensure this threatened species survives well into the future by recreating the right habitat for gliders to thrive.

The solution

During 2014 a Local Area Management Plan (LAMP) was developed to cover a 10km radius of Burrumbuttock and a multi-agency/community steering committee was established.  A LAMP is essentially a map that shows what on-ground vegetation protection and/or replacement planting work needs to be done to ensure the viability of the local Squirrel glider population.  Because the works cross property boundaries, the landholders and local Council must be willing to participate in creating and maintaining a glider friendly landscape.  The goal of the Burrumbuttock Squirrel Glider LAMP is to double the existing population of Squirrel gliders through community action.  The on-ground works component of the plan is currently being delivered by Petaurus Education Group Inc in partnership with West Hume Landcare, Wirraminna Environmental Education Centre, NSW Office of Environment & Heritage, Murray Local Land Services and Greater Hume Shire with funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, and Catchment Action NSW and NSW Environment Trust.

The impact

So far, this LAMP has planted over 27,600 new plants, installed 35km of stock-proof fencing around 98 hectares of existing and new vegetation, replaced 2.5km of barbed-wire with plain wire in high risk areas where gliders can easily get tangled and die; installed nest boxes in habitat where trees are less than 150 years old and lack suitable hollows; and added 433 individual trees with stock-proof tree guards to create “stepping stones” between large old trees and habitat patches that are too far apart for gliders to safely move between across 33 separate properties.  There will be more to come in the next two years.  The new plantings will improve connectivity between habitats across the landscape by creating corridors of trees and shrubs, increasing the size of existing patches of remnant vegetation, improve food availability and variety, and provide safe passage for Squirrel gliders to travel, breed and survive. 

The success of this project and the response from those who have been involved has been incredibly positive.    Squirrel glider photo: Peter Merritt

Key facts

  • 2015-2018 outworks; 33 property agreements;
  • 27,600 new plants, 35km new fencing
  • 98 hectares protected vegetation
  • 433 individual trees with stock-proof tree guards

Project Partners