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Providing evidence to improve practice

Individual study: Introduction of the sugar glider, Petaurus breviceps, into re-established forest of the Tower Hill State Game Reserve, Vic.

Published source details

Suckling G.C. & Macfarlane M.A. (1983) Introduction of the sugar glider, Petaurus breviceps, into re-established forest of the Tower Hill State Game Reserve, Vic. Australian Wildlife Research, 249-258


This study is summarised as evidence for the intervention(s) shown on the right. The icon shows which synopsis it is relevant to.

Release translocated/captive-bred mammals into area with artificial refuges/breeding sites Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 1979–1981 of a young planted native forest reserve in Victoria, Australia (Suckling & Macfarlane 1983) found that a population of released, captive-bred sugar gliders Petaurus breviceps provided with artificial nest boxes and supplementary food survived, bred and used the nest boxes. In the third year after releases began, 37 individuals were recorded. Seven animals had been wild-born in the year after release and six females >2 years old showed signs of having reproduced. Occupation by sugar gliders or signs of previous occupation were recorded in 30 of 38 boxes, all three terra-cotta pipes and in 10 of 14 artificial hollow limbs. On a 130-ha island of planted native forest (trees ≤17 years old), 72 sugar gliders were released in January or February of 1979 (26 individuals), 1980 (34 individuals) and 1981 (12 individuals). Seventy boxes, pipes or hollowed limbs (dimensions not provided) were installed on trees, 3–7 m above the ground. Supplementary food was provided at release points during winters of 1979 and 1980. Gliders and artificial nest boxes were surveyed in May 1981.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)

Provide supplementary food during/after release of captive-bred mammals Terrestrial Mammal Conservation

A study in 1979–1981 at a young planted native forest reserve in Victoria, Australia (Suckling & Macfarlane 1983) found that released, captive-bred sugar gliders Petaurus breviceps provided with supplementary food and artificial nest hollows appeared to establish a breeding population. In the third year after releases began, approximately 37 sugar gliders were recorded. Of 17 females caught, 10 were over one year old. All six females that were over two years old had bred. Seven of the 32 animals caught had been wild-bred in the year after the first releases. Sugar gliders were almost all located near to where artificial nest hollows were installed and 58 of 70 were either occupied or showed signs of recent occupation. On a 130-ha island of planted native forest (trees ≤17 years old), 26 captive-bred juvenile gliders (12 male, 14 female) were released in February 1979. Thirty-four (21 male, 13 female) were released in January–February 1980. Twelve (six male, six female) were released in February 1981. Seventy artificial nest hollows (boxes, hollow branches and pipes) were installed. Supplementary food was provided at release points during winters of 1979 and 1980. Gliders were surveyed in May 1981, by live-trapping, using 54 traps for up to four nights, supplemented by sightings of animals flushed from nest hollows.

(Summarised by Nick Littlewood)