Searching for greater gliders

Searching for greater gliders

The first night of the Greater Glider Survey in the Errinundra National Park, which will be an ongoing event for the Friends of Errinundra, was a great success last Saturday night with 14 people attending, one travelling from Merimbula to participate.

Local Parks Victoria ranger, Gary Bellisini, conducted a safety briefing before Rena Gaborov provided a comprehensive induction about how to undertake a survey and record relevant data. The main focus was how many greater gliders could be found, but Rena also spoke about other animals that might be encountered while spotlighting. Techniques, GPS use, compass bearing and taking and recording data were covered.

Participants split into two groups, one walking a onekilometre transect southwest along Gap Road from the Gunmark Road intersection, recording four greater gliders. Keep in mind people only see 20 per cent of the animals that are actually present in a transect.

The second group started its survey at the intersection of Playground Road and Gap Road, walking one kilometre northeast. It found one white striped freetail bat, two yellow-bellied gliders, three ringtail possums and five or six greater gliders. A female powerful owl was also heard calling.

Group one conducted another transect from the intersection of Gunmark Road heading one kilometre northeast and saw one sooty owl, one ringtail possum and two greater gliders.

It was a clear, cold night with perfect conditions for spotlighting and everyone enjoyed the experience. Plans to conduct further surveys were cancelled due to time constraints.

Plans are underway to have another spotlighting activity in the Errinundra National Park later this year. The comparison of greater gliders and other nocturnal animals in the national park and surrounding land like the scenic reserve will provide baseline data to help monitor and assist with conservation of greater gliders and other animals.

Friends of Errinundra thank Rena Gaborov, Gary Bellisini, Kerry Seaton and Owen Hanson for making this event possible and giving their time and expertise. Goongerah Environment Centre was also thanked for the loan of the spotlighting equipment.