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Saving Mahogany Glider Habitat

Blog Post - Mahogany Glider

Your generosity helped weed out invaders in critical Glider habitat. 

Only 1500 adults are left in the wild, and their habitat is shrinking fast. Under pressure from agriculture, development, and extreme weather, it’s uncertain if these gliders will be able to survive in the future.

Our efforts now can make sure precious flora and fauna like the Mahogany Glider, are around for generations to come.

Thank you to our supporters that helped make this project possible. This is about so much more than just saving individual species. It’s about making sure the incredible diversity of wildlife we’re so lucky to have here in Australia is still there for future generations to enjoy, be inspired by, and learn from.

With your support, a research team from James Cook University (JCU) and volunteers from the local community are working together to help rehabilitate Mahogany Glider habitat in the Insulator Creek Wetland, near Halifax Bay Wetland National Park in Queensland.

 

This project will not only help the endangered Mahogany Gliders but also countless other species of birds, fish, and reptiles that live in this ecosystem. The Mahogany Glider needs wooded canopy to glide and move around looking for food and it is essential to protect the natural border of the forest and grassy wetland.

The wetland was over-run with invasive weeds, which over time can change the whole ecosystem and throw it out of balance. They block the water flow and use all of the oxygen in the water, causing fish to die which in turn affects all of the animals in different ways with connected and flow-on effects.

Volunteers from the local community came together to repair the wetland by removing the weed and helping establish more natural vegetation.

Controlled burnings were under the watchful eye of experts was also undertaken and very effective. One important task of the JCU research team is to assess the ecosystem before and after the burns. By collecting data on plants, animals, and water quality, they can see how the plants change after the burn, and subsequently how types and numbers of animals change.

Their research trip in September showed some initial success. Researchers used underwater cameras, visual bird surveys, and nocturnal trail cameras for Mahogany Gliders, along with other methods to assess insects, invertebrates, and water quality.

The invasive weed is under initial control, and natural grasses have re-established over a portion of the wetland. Importantly, this is close to the forest edge, improving the protection of the Mahogany Glider habitats.

Another great outcome has been the increase in flow of the creek, with many more fish now present.

The team will continue these surveys to assess how the ecosystem improves and monitoring the presence of the Mahogany Glider.

The JCU research team surveying the wetland.

 

What other conservation work does FNPW support?

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