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Petaurus gracilis

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA MAMMALIA DIPROTODONTIA PETAURIDAE

Scientific Name: Petaurus gracilis
Species Authority: (de Vis, 1883)
Common Name(s):
English Mahogany Glider

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Endangered B1ab(iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Burnett, S., Winter, J. & Martin, R.
Reviewer(s): Lamoreux, J. & Hilton-Taylor, C. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Justification:
Listed as Endangered because its extent of occurrence is less than 5,000 km2, its distribution is severely fragmented, and there is a continuing decline in the extent and quality of its habitat.
History:
1996 Endangered
1994 Endangered (Groombridge 1994)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to Queensland, Australia. It is restricted to an area of coastal lowland forest between Crystal Creek, south-east of Ingham, north to the Hull River; a latitudinal range of approximately 122 km (Jackson and Claridge 1999; Jackson 2008). The distribution of the Mahogany Glider largely falls within the Wet Tropics biogeographic region over an area of approximately (P. Latch pers. comm.). All of its distribution is severely fragmented (Parsons and Latch 2007).
Countries:
Native:
Australia (Queensland)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: The Mahogany Glider is cryptic, elusive, and virtually silent. These attributes continue to hinder survey efforts to estimate total population size and to determine the southern, western, and northern limits of distribution. Consequently there are no published data on total Mahogany Glider abundance or distribution limits beyond modelling based on known records to date (P. Latch pers. comm.).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Occurring in habitat below 120 m elevation, the arboreal and nocturnal Mahogany Glider is highly mobile and dependent on continuous open forest or woodland. They feed primarily on nectar and pollen, gliding at night between feed trees and sometimes foraging close to the ground. They usually forage alone, possibly to avoid predators (Van Dyck 1993; Jackson 1998). They use tree hollows as dens for sleeping and rearing young (Jackson 2000a). First breeding occurs at around 12 - 18 months and young are weaned after 4 - 5 months (Jackson 2000b).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Clearing of forest for sugar cane, bananas, pineapples, improved pasture, Caribbean pine, and aquaculture has had a dramatic impact on habitat and has lead to a corresponding reduction in the distribution and connectivity of the species. Only 20 percent of former available habitat remains (Blackman et al. 1994) and this is severely fragmented (Parsons and Latch 2007). Altered fire regimes, weed invasion, and intensive grazing threaten the structure and ecological integrity of remaining habitat fragments. The subsequent decline in habitat quality and isolation of populations are major threats to the species’ survival. Major roads disrupt movements of Mahogany Gliders and road kills have been recorded. Mahogany Gliders also can become entangled on barbed-wire fences resulting in fatalities (P. Latch pers. comm.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The Mahogany Glider is listed as a threatened species under Australian law. Approximately 45 percent of remnant Mahogany Glider habitat occurs within protected areas, including: Edmund Kennedy National Park, Girringun National Park, Paluma Range National Park, Mahogany Glider Nature Refuge, Seafarm Nature Refuge, Chakoro Nature Refuge, as well as several Forest Reserves and State Forests (Parsons and Latch 2007; P. Latch pers. comm.). The distribution of Mahogany Glider habitat has been identified and mapped by the Environmental Protection Agency (P. Latch pers. comm.). Mahogany Glider habitat is protected from further clearing under Queensland government legislation (P. Latch pers. comm.). A detailed recovery plan has been developed for the species (Parsons and Latch 2007).

Recommendations from the recovery plan (Parsons and Latch 2007), include: updating Mahogany Glider habitat mapping and identifying areas for protection, restoration, and management; identifying, managing, and monitoring habitats threatened by encroaching rainforest; developing strategies to conserve Mahogany Glider habitat on private lands; implementing habitat recovery burns at key sites and improving weed control; reducing threats arising from transport and easement corridors; promoting a Mahogany Glider friendly-fencing scheme; determining the population genetic structure of Mahogany Gliders; and increasing public awareness and involvement in the recovery of the species.

Citation: Burnett, S., Winter, J. & Martin, R. 2008. Petaurus gracilis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 28 November 2014.
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