(Last Updated On: April 15, 2021)

The squirrel glider, scientific name Petaurus norfolcensis is a nocturnal gliding possum. The squirrel glider is, without doubt, one of the wrist-winged gliders of the genus Petaurus.

Squirrel Glider Profile

Adult Squirrel Gliders have a head and body size of about 20 cm. They have blue-grey to brown-grey fur above, white on the stomach and the end third of the tail is black.

There is a darkish stripe from between the eyes to the mid-back and the tail is smooth and bushy averaging about 27 cm in size.

Squirrel Gliders are as much as twice the size of Sugar Gliders, their facial markings are more distinct they usually nest in bowl-shaped, leaf-lined nests in tree hollows. Squirrel Gliders are additionally much less vocal than Sugar Gliders.

In south-eastern Australia, Squirrel Glider occupies dry sclerophyll forest and woodlands however is absent from the dense coastal ranges. In northern New South Wales and Queensland, it inhabits coastal forest and a few moist forest areas that border rainforest.

In some habitats density of Squirrel Glider is as high as three people per hectare.

Squirrel Glider

The breeding season in Squirrel Glider happens throughout June and July, with a gestation interval that lasts barely lower than three weeks. During the breeding season, feminine P. norfolcensis exhibit a well-developed pouch that’s maintained by means of December.

This pouch opens anteriorly and has 4 nipples. In the months of January by means of May, the feminine’s pouch turns small and dry, indicating anestrus. Male P. norfolcensis produce sperm all through the year.

The typical litter consists of 1 or two younger. These younger ones keep within the mom’s pouch for about 70 days after parturition. The younger are absolutely furred at roughly 76 days and eyes open at 84-85 days.

The younger will stay within the nest for an additional 40-50 days after rising from the pouch. At the age of 110-120 days, the younger of Squirrel Glider start to enterprise out and forage with their mom.

Geographic Range

Populations of Squirrel Glider are distributed all through eastern Queensland, eastern New South Wales, Victoria, and southeast South Australia.

Squirrel Glider Habitat

This species’ house range extends from Bordertown close to the South Australian/Victorian Border by means of south-eastern Australia to northern Queensland. This species was regarded as extinct in South Australia since 1939 till a genetic check confirmed their inhabitance on this space.

The squirrel glider lives in south-eastern Australia within the dry sclerophyll forest and woodlands. In Queensland, nevertheless, they occupy a wetter eucalypt forest.

The glider will make a den within the hole tree and line it with leaves. Here it’ll sleep and normally lives in teams of 1 male, 2 females, and offspring.

Squirrel Glider Physical Description

Squirrel gliders, Petaurus norfolcensis, are much like sugar gliders, Petaurus breviceps, normally look, however, are twice as the giant. They have more distinct facial markings, an extended face, and a bushier tail than P. breviceps.

At instances although, these two species can solely be reliably distinguished by the bigger molar teeth of Squirrel Glider.

Squirrel gliders have pale gray fur on their dorsal floor, with a darkish brown or black stripe down the center. They possess a prehensile tail, an opposable hallux, and a long gliding membrane that extends from the surface of the forefoot to the ankle.

Squirrel gliders have long, sharp, diprotodon decrease incisors. Their molars are bunodont, they usually possess a total of 40 teeth.

Squirrel Glider

Squirrel Glider Appearance

Like a lot of the wrist-winged gliders, the squirrel glider is endemic to Australia. It is about twice the size of the associated sugar glider (P. breviceps). Its body is 18–23 cm long and its tail measures 22–33 cm long.

It weighs about 230g or 0.5 lbs. They have blue-grey or brown-grey fur on their back and a white stomach. The end of their tail is black they usually have a black stripe from their eyes to the mid-back.

They have a flying membrane that extends from their fifth front toe to the back of their foot on either side. When they glide their prehensile tail can act as a rudder, permitting them to steer which route they wish to go. They can glide as much as 50m from tree to tree. They have a tendency to not glide in captivity.

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Squirrel Glider Behavior

Squirrel gliders are nocturnal, arboreal animals that make the most of a membrane stretching between fore- and hindlimbs to maneuver from tree to tree. They nest in tree hollows the place they assemble a bowl-shaped nest lined with leaves.

Typical family teams encompass a mature male of over two years of age, one or more adult females, and the younger of that season.

In captive conditions, established family teams have been reported to assault newly launched people and antagonistic behavior has been displayed between communities of Squirrel Glider.

Males have well-developed scent glands on their foreheads which they use to mark their territory.

Squirrel gliders exhibit some vocal communications. They produce gurgling chatters; smooth, nasal grunts; and repetitive, brief gurgles.

Diet

The squirrel glider eats principally fruit and bugs. It additionally feeds on tree sap, primarily eucalyptus or red bloodwood timber. In order to get the sap, the squirrel glider will pierce the trunk of the tree inflicting sap to circulation out of it. It additionally eats pollen, nectar, leaves, and bark.

Food Habit

The squirrel glider is an omnivorous species. Typical meals within the diet of Squirrel Glider embody bugs (primarily beetles and caterpillars), acacia gum, sap from sure eucalypts, nectar, pollen, and the green seeds of the Golden Wattle.

Nectar and pollen are the most important dietary gadgets, however, within the absence of those meals, the squirrel glider will more closely make the most of sap and gum.

Squirrel Glider

Squirrel Glider Reproduction

The breeding season is between June and January. The gestation/being pregnant of the feminine is 18 days.

The litter sizes are normally one to 2 offspring a year. The offspring will instantly crawl to the mom’s marsupium and anchor itself to a teat the place it’ll keep for about three months.

The mom will wean off her offspring around Four months whereas they keep within the den. The offspring develop into impartial at 10 months and go off on their very own. The life expectancy is 4–6 years.

Threats

Natural predators of the squirrel glider embody owls and launched predators embody dogs, cats, and foxes. Habitat fragmentation and destruction by the human company are additionally impacting particular person populations.

However, as a consequence of giant inhabitants sizes and incidence in a number of protected areas, the species is at the moment categorized as Least Concern (i.e. not but threatened) by the IUCN.

Conservation

The squirrel glider could also be endangered within the southern part of its range, because of the mass clearing of woodland for agriculture and forest operations. This impacts Squirrel Glider by reducing the abundance of tree hollows which it depends on for nesting sites.

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