by Callum Reedman
On Saturday the 23rd of September, Hunter Intrepid Landcare descended on the Coal Point Progress Association, to participate in the event: “Squirrel Glider Surveying and Spotlighting at Coal Point”, within the Ridgeline bush remnants of Coal Point.
The event brought 11 participants from all walks of life along to survey the Squirrel Glider population and replace fallen nest boxes.
Monitoring was performed by climbing a ladder up to each box and peeping in to the Glider residence, an extremely cute and rewarding experience for us if perhaps a bit scary for the Gliders.
We looked for the visible signs of habitation, as to whether the boxes contained green leaves, or old nest signs like that of brown/grey leaves, alongside whether animals were inside, and if so, how many.
For most of the participants, this was the first time Squirrel Gliders had been viewed outside of posters, if at all, and it was certainly an exciting time to view not just 1, but ten of the endangered Squirrel Gliders across multiple next boxes with six occupying just one. Much excitement and photographs abounded.
We also helped replace fallen boxes, which are needed to extend and replace the tree hollows that are critical habitat for the Squirrel Gliders. The locations of the replaced boxes were logged via GPS and will hopefully become a home to a growing Squirrel Glider population in the near future.
The event ran for approximately 6 hours, culminating in a spotlighting session that night, whereby the group along with local families, sought to see whether we’d be able to catch a glimpse of the Gliders from earlier on.
While we didn’t find any Gliders, we did spot 3 possums and a Boo-Bok Owl that, with the unique experience of exploring the bush by torchlight and the great company of friends, made for a fun night.
Overall the event was a roaring success, having replaced 2, and checked 9 nesting boxes we found 10 gliders across 3 boxes and 1 box with Rosellas.
An enormous thanks to the CPPA for inviting Hunter Intrepid Landcare to share the lovely wildlife gems which reside in their suburb’s backyard as part of the Threatened Species Last Stand on the Coal Point Peninsula project and to Chris Mclean for running the spotlighting event along the West ridge.