Distribution: Eastern Australia
Habitat: Forests and woodlands
Description: The Feathertail Glider is an Australian marsupial. It has short brown-grey fur. Its tail has long stiff hairs down either side and resembles a bird’s feather. It is about the same length as its body. The glider has a thick membrane between its elbows and knees, which it uses to glide. It also has serrated pads on its toes that help it stick to smooth surfaces.
Diet: The Feathertail Glider is an omnivore and eats nectar, pollen and insects.
In the wild: Feathertail Gliders live in groups of 5–25 individuals. Several group members help to maintain spherical nests of leaves, bark and fern. Mothers suckle young that are not their own.
Threats: Predatory birds, including kookaburras and owls, foxes, cats and reptiles prey on Feathertail Gliders. They are also threatened by habitat destruction.
At Perth Zoo: The Feathertail Gliders can be seen in the Nocturnal House.
Join the Perth Zoo-coordinated Night Stalk from 1 September to 16 October and spotlight for native animals in your local bushland. Night Stalk is a great way to become involved in community conservation action and to learn about our native animals, their habitat and their threats. Night Stalk is sponsored by Tronox.
Did you know? The average gliding distance for the Feathertail Glider is about 14 m though they have been known to glide up to 28 m. They glide up to five times an hour. Gliding helps the Feathertail Glider stay amongst the treetops where they can avoid larger, ground-dwelling predators.