The world’s gliding mammals are an extraordinary group of animals that have the ability to glide from tree to tree with seemingly effortless grace. There are more than 60 species of gliding mammals including the flying squirrels from Europe and North America, the scaly-tailed flying squirrels from central Africa and the gliding possums of Australia and New Guinea.
Description: Distinctive for its large size, long, relatively short-haired tail, and buff to mahogany-brown belly. It is easily distinguished from the smaller Squirrel Glider that occurs nearby (but does not appear to overlap with it), and may be distinguished from the much smaller Sugar Glider by its much greater length and body mass.
Distribution: With one of the smallest natural distributions of any mammal, the Mahogany Glider occurs only in the narrow, highly fragmented band of vegetation from the Hull River near Tully to Ollera Creek (some 40 kilometres south of Ingham) in north Queensland, Australia. This is an area with a total distance of only 122 kilometres north to south and some
Neither species appears to occur in the extensive rainforest to the north. Within its region, the Mahogany Glider is found in open woodland composed of a diversity trees including Eucalyptus, Lophostemon, Melaleuca, Corymbia, Acacia and Albizia. Its occurrence appears to be correlated with the presence of Clarkson’s Bloodwood (Corymbia clarksoniana), Poplar Gum (Eucalyptus platyphylla) and open habitat with a small mid and upper canopy cover.
Reproduction: Breeds between April and September/October. One or two young are born at a time; the average litter size is 1.55.
Diet: Nectar and pollen from trees such a Eucalyptus, Corymbia and Melaleuca and insects. It feeds also on sap from White Siris (Albizia procera), Black Wattle (Acacia mangium), Northern Wattle (Acacia crassicarpa) and Red Wattle (Acacia flavescens), acacia arils (including those from Acacia flavescens), and mistletoe fruit from Amyema and Dendrophthoe. It relies on the seasonal cycles of flowering and fruiting to provide the different food items sequentially throughout the year.
Ecology: Makes its den during the day in leaf-lined hollows of various species of trees including Poplar Gum, Blue Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis), Clarkson’s Bloodwood, Pink Bloodwood (Corymbia intermedia), Broad-leaved Paperbark (Melaleuca viridiflora) and Silver-leaved Paperbark (Melaleuca dealbata) where there are five or six dens for females and males respectively.
The average home range within continuous habitat is approximately 20 hectares; an individual may travel
Status: Endangered due to the large amount of its habitat which has been cleared, the small amount of habitat protected within national parks, and the high likelihood of further clearing.