Nesting Sugar Gliders Discovered On Prospect Creek

Published Wednesday, 22nd March 2017

Sugar Gliders in a box
Sugar Gliders in a box. Picture by: Narawan Williams

Council’s efforts in regenerating native bushland in Fairfield City have proven successful as this month a number of native Brushtail possums, Ringtail possums and Sugar Gliders were spotted.

Council’s efforts in regenerating native bushland in Fairfield City have proven successful as this month a number of native Brushtail possums, Ringtail possums and Sugar Gliders were spotted along Prospect Creek, after previously thought not to be in the area.

Sugar gliders sleep during the day in a nest of leaves inside tree hollows. Fairfield and the rest of Western Sydney have historically been cleared of hollow bearing trees for horticultural activities. Nest boxes are used as replacement habitat in areas where there are not many hollows.

The Improving Prospect Creek Project (IPC) project was undertaken between 2009 and 2013, and included revegetation in Upper Prospect Creek, planting ABOUT 15,000 native plants.

Council’s Natural Resources team will now work with wildlife ecologist Narawan Williams to construct specific nest boxes to install in Upper Prospect Creek to provide more habitats.

Council expects to install four nesting boxes by the end of June, in time for their breeding season, however, if Gliders are still present in the area they can take up to one or two years to populate new nest boxes.

Council is conducting this work as a part of its Natural Resources Program, which aims to improve the natural environment through the Creek care bush regeneration program and through its environmental education program

Council has a responsibility under the Local Government act and its Biodiversity Strategy to maintain and improve native habitat for native flora and fauna. Removal of hollow bearing trees is recognised as a key threatening process to native fauna by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. Council is looking to reverse this threatening process with this targeted nest box installation.

Sugar Glider facts:

  • They are a small arboreal (lives in trees) marsupial with a head-body length of 16cm–21cm and a 16cm–21cm tail.
  • Adults weigh 100g–160g.
  • They have stretchy membranes that extend on both sides of the body between the front and back limbs, which they use to glide between trees at night in search for their diet of tree sap, nectar, pollen, and insects.
  • They live in woodlands that contain tree hollows and sufficient food.
  • During the day, small social groups, often containing several adults and that season’s young, generally share a common nest in a tree hollow or with a ball of leaves.
  • Breeding starts in June or July, and females usually give birth to two young, which become independent of the group when they are seven to 10 months old.

ENDS

Media enquiries:    Suzie Sekulic, Communications and Marketing Officer
Phone:                      9725 0166
Email:                        fcccommunications@fairfieldcity.nsw.gov.au