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Australian Wildlife

  Sugar Glider (Petaurus breviceps)





Sugar Glider | Petaurus breviceps photo
Sugar Glider photographed outside O'Reilly's guest house in in Lamington National Park. The glider would come down the tree in the evening to hand feed on toast and honey.

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.

Sugar Glider | Petaurus breviceps photo
Sugar Glider feeding time. O'Reilly's guest house, Lamington National Park.

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.

Sugar Glider | Petaurus breviceps photo
This Sugar Glider was the victim of a cat attack - its spine was broken in the attack. A tiny little baby glider is hanging from the mother's pouch. The baby is the little pink thing about the size of a jelly bean - it was far too small to survive. Both the mum and baby died as a result of the attack. Prowling cats are a menace to native wildlife. If you want lots of wildlife in your garden, then it is important to keep cats indoors at night.

Image by ozwildlife - Some rights reserved.

Sugar Glider | Petaurus breviceps photo
Sugar Glider mum with two joeys.

Image by Sugar Glider University - Some rights reserved.

Sugar Glider | Petaurus breviceps photo
Sugar Glider joey.

Image by Sugar Glider University - Some rights reserved.

Sugar Glider | Petaurus breviceps photo
Sugar Glider eating grasshopper.

Image by Sugar Glider University - Some rights reserved.

Sugar Glider | Petaurus breviceps photo
Sugar Glider mum with two joeys in pouch.

Image by Sugar Glider University - Some rights reserved.



SUGAR GLIDER FACTS

Description
The Sugar Glider is a small possum. It has a membrane from its fifth finger to the back ankle. Using the membrane it can glide about 50 m between trees. In flight, it uses its long bushy tail for balance and steering. It is most active at night, sleeping by day in nests made of leaves in tree hollows. Groups of adults and their young may share a nest. They are social but will defend their territory if threatened by rivals or other animals. Sugar Gliders have two different calls - a scraping/screeching call and a "yip" "yip" call like a small dog. You can hear both calls on the audio clip.

Other Names
Sugar squirrel, lesser flying squirrel, lesser flying phalanger, lesser glider.

Size
15-20cm excluding tail. The tail is another 15-20cm. It weighs100-160g

Habitat
Forests and woodlands.

Food
Eats insects and the sap from eucalypts and some wattles.

For those of who live in countries where keeping these animals as pets is legal, there are a range of foods you can use in the Sugar Glider diet. They need a varied diet including protein foods such as mealworms and crickets; fruit and vegetables (for example pieces of Apple, Pear, Sweet Potatoes, Melon, Carrot, Mango); also commercial Sugar Glider foods are available.

Breeding
The Sugar Glider commonly gives birth to twins, which remain in the pouch for just over two months. They then leave the nest to forage for food, usually with their mother. The young Sugar Glider is called a joey.

Range
Northern and eastern Australia, in northern Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and south-eastern South Australia.

Notes
In Australia, you must have an appropriate licence to keep native wildlife such as sugar gliders. Licence laws vary from state to state and in some states it is illegal to keep any protected species. Sugar gliders are popular exotic pets in some American states. In America, there are more sugar gliders kept as pets than are in the wild in Australia.



Classification
Class:Mammalia
Order:Diprotodontia
Family:Petauridae
Genus:Petaurus
Species:breviceps
Common Name:Sugar Glider

Relatives in same Genus
  Yellow-bellied Glider (P. australis)
  Squirrel Glider (P. norfolcensis)