Monday, 7 May 2012

Glider Forest

Wildlife Queensland and their Glider Network  organised a morning for the public to help with nestbox monitoring in a patch of bushland called Glider Forest, in Larapinta (south Brisbane).  This included hunting for some nestboxes that were put up years ago but never monitored!  Gliders, like possums, are nocturnal and sleep during the day, so the nestboxes provide an important substitute for tree hollows in areas that have suffered from tree clearing.

We started out by looking for some nestboxes that had not been located with the GPS.  The group leader knew roughly where they were, making the task a bit easier, and a couple of the youngsters with us had keen eyes so we found them without too much trouble.  Then the fun began - we used a special camera to take a look inside the boxes!  Here is a video from Wildlife Queensland that explains how the remote camera works:
Here are 'the boys' wrestling with the telescopic pole trying to get the camera in the nestbox, bit like 'hook a duck'!

A lot of the boxes contained leaves in a little nest - which meant that Gliders are using the box but just not that day.  We didn't find any Gliders at first, but then we found a Brush-tail Possum Trichosurus vulpecula in one of the possum boxes!  There were several Microbat boxes too, although we couldn't see in them as the opening was too small.  However, it was obvious that there were no Microbats in one of them, as a Lace Monitor Varanus varius had decided to have a snooze there instead - we could just see the tail and foot sticking out!
It was getting to the end of our survey when we came across a box with some Glider inhabitats, the image on the screen wasn't too clear but the group leader thought they were Squirrel Gliders Petaurus norfolcensis (Gliders sleep socially, so there were a few in the nest!).  The Wildlife Queensland web link also had some audio on the noise they make!  Then, in the very last box we surveyed, we came across some Sugar Gliders  Petaurus breviceps and were able to see them clearly on the screen. Technology is amazing!


  1. Outstanding Hazel ... great combination of pictures and information with a light hearted touch.
    A great pic of the Lace Monitor ... makes me smile every time I look at it ... what an opportunist!
    Michael Fox

  2. An excellent story. Of course the technology that lets you share this with everyone is pretty marvellous also!


  3. Thanks guys, I agree Martin - blogging is marvellous :o) I'd love to spot a Glider outside of a nestbox, perhaps we will look for them on Mt Gravatt sometime.