Squirrel Glider

Squirrel GliderScientific Name: Petaurus norfolcensis
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Body Length: 18–23 cm
Weight: 190–300 g
Number of young: 2

Distribution: Eastern Australia
Habitat: Dry schlerophyll forests and woodlands

Description: The Squirrel Glider has soft grey fur above and yellowish-white on its belly. There are distinctive black marks on the face and a bushy tail that is 22–30 cm long. Squirrel Gliders have an area of loose skin connected from wrist to ankle. When they jump between trees, they extend this skin which allows them to glide.

Diet: Squirrel Gliders are omnivores and eat insects, gum from acacias, sap from eucalypts, nectar, pollen and green seeds of the golden wattle.

In the wild: A family of Squirrel Gliders is usually made up of one mature male, one or more adult females and their offspring. The actual gestation period is unknown but it is thought to be 15–17 days. Each female usually produces two young which remain in the pouch for about 70 days when they are deposited in a nest for about 40–50 days. At about three months old, the young leave the nest to forage.

The natural predators of Squirrel Gliders include birds (including owls and kookaburras) and reptiles.

Threats: Squirrel Gliders are threatened by feral cats and foxes. The destruction of forests—especially tree hollows which they use for nests—has had a dramatic effect on Squirrel Glider populations.

At Perth Zoo: The Nocturnal House is home to a family of Squirrel Gliders.

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.

Download the Squirrel Glider Fact Sheet (pdf).

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