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Great Southern Bioblitz nocturnal survey in Springfield Lakes

Springfield Lakes Nature Care Inc became part of the Greater Glider Network program in 2017 by monitoring gliders. The group partnered with Wildlife Preservation Society of Qld to install several nestboxes including 5 rear entry glider boxes to help improve the habitat for squirrel & sugar gliders. These small arboreal mammals require at least 5 hollows in close proximity to each other to not just survive but also to thrive. A survey conducted 12 months later in 2018 revealed a family of 3 squirrel gliders sleeping in one box during the day but using the other boxes as shelter or resting places during their nocturnal feeding trips. Movement detection cameras also recorded the times the gliders left & returned to the box.

Annual surveys were conducted on the boxes, and it revealed that another family of 4 squirrel gliders had occupied a 2nd nest box as their sleeping box.

The group were overjoyed at the success of the glider nest boxes & sought funding to install more glider & greater glider boxes. The Greater Glider unfortunately ended up on the threatened species list as the lack of suitable hollows due to land clearing had impacted on their ability to breed. The arboreal mammals such as gliders & possums also are food for another vulnerable species the Powerful Owl which is also found near to this location. Unfortunately, humans have done significant damage to these creatures' habitat, via the clearing of large trees capable of containing large enough hollows for the gliders to live in, so providing artificial hollows is one way in which we can help improve the survival of these creatures.

The presence of the existence of these threatened species also stopped a proposed clearing of habitat to build a community center on public owned land. This certainly has preserved the area for all other species and now the land will be further added to the boundary of the conservation reserve. This proves the importance of Bioblitz and regular surveys, not only to document species but also to monitor their use of habitat to protect it for the future.

Thanks to the GSB we were able to hold a nocturnal survey with 5 participants to assist in the survey to document our nocturnal wildlife.

Two gliders were seen & the Yellow-bellied Glider was also heard but not seen. Previous nocturnal surveys found endangered Greater Gliders not far from where this photo was taken. This sighting (above) reinforces the work that our Landcare group has done in purchasing and installing nest boxes to increase the number of artificial hollows to enable these mammals survive but thrive.

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