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6 February 2014 Distribution, habitat preferences and management of the yellow-bellied glider, Petaurus australis, on the Bago Plateau, New South Wales: a reassessment of the population and its status
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Abstract

Context . A population of yellow-bellied glider on the Bago Plateau, near Tumbarumba, was listed as an Endangered Population in 2008 under the New South Wales (NSW) Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995. The listing was based on limited data that suggested that the population is geographically and genetically distinct and its habitat in decline.

Aims . To review the validity of the endangered-population listing following the collection of new data on its distribution, habitat preferences and responses to logging.

Methods . Surveys for the yellow-bellied glider were conducted at a subset of sites established in 1995 on the Bago Plateau as well as across parts of the neighbouring Kosciuszko National Park, which had not been surveyed previously. The distribution of suitable habitat throughout these areas was evaluated.

Key results . The yellow-bellied glider was recorded at 29% of 48 sites resurveyed in 2010, 54% of which were previously occupied in 1995. Most changes in glider occupancy occurred at sites that had not been logged during the intervening period. The gliders preferred forest types dominated by montane gums (Eucalyptus dalrympleana, E. viminalis, E. camphora, E. pauciflora and E. stellulata) and used forest types of montane gums mixed with E. robertsonii or E. delegatensis in proportion to their availability across the landscape. The gliders were not observed to use monospecific stands of E. delegatensis. The yellow-bellied glider was also recorded frequently in Kosciuszko National Park. E. dalrympleana was consistently represented in the distribution of this species across the NSW Snowy Mountains.

Conclusions . Yellow-bellied glider site occupancy was not related to timber harvesting. Its habitat was not restricted by elevation or confined within Bago and Maragle State Forests by the Tumut River Gorge, Blowering and Talbingo Dams, as previously thought. We estimated that there is a large population of the gliders occupying up to 440 000 ha of contiguous habitat across the broader Snowy Mountains region of NSW, extending also into ACT and Victoria.

Implications . The listing of the Bago Plateau portion of this population as an endangered population appears inconsistent with relevant listing criteria and requires review.

© CSIRO 2013
Peter J. Kambouris, Rodney P. Kavanagh, and Kelly A. Rowley "Distribution, habitat preferences and management of the yellow-bellied glider, Petaurus australis, on the Bago Plateau, New South Wales: a reassessment of the population and its status," Wildlife Research 40(7), 599-614, (6 February 2014). https://doi.org/10.1071/WR13021
Received: 1 February 2013; Accepted: 1 December 2013; Published: 6 February 2014
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