Wodonga Council

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Squirrel glider data a positive sign

17 Nov, 2020

Threatened squirrel gliders have been found in a quarter of sites in Wodonga as part of the Albury Conservation Company's first round of monitoring endangered wildlife.

Native tree dwelling mammals, such as squirrel gliders, brush-tailed phascogales and the Spotted Quoll, were the focus of monitoring across 48 sites in Wodonga's main urban growth corridors of Leneva and Baranduda.

Using motion-sensing cameras, squirrel gliders were detected at 27.08 per cent of sites, however the phascogales and quolls were not found.

Albury Conservation Company, who is partnering with Wodonga Council,  to monitor the wildlife is upbeat about the numbers.

Albury Conservation Company Executive Officer Sam Niedra said the program addressed baseline data for endangered species in the expanding growth areas of the city.

"“The broad aim of this program is to collect hard scientific data to assist councils and the broader community to sustain healthy populations of endangered species, like the Squirrel Glider," he said.

"We are very excited that the program is now in Wodonga after running for a few years in Albury."

The study is part of a long-term, cross-border program which has support from AlburyCity, Wodonga Council and funded by the Ross Trust and the Festival of Folk the Rhythm and Life.

The motion-sensing cameras have been funded by Wettenhall Environment Trust and with public donations. 

The expansion into Wodonga aligns with the councils' Regional Natural Environment Strategy.

Wodonga Council's Natural Resources Planner Claire Coulson said at least 10 of the 14 reserves were council managed.

"We’ve always known that these species exist locally, many of our protected areas are specifically intended to provide for these species," she said.

"But we don’t have a good understanding of where exactly these animals are, how they move through the landscape and what local habitat they prefer. 

“After one round of monitoring, we know Squirrel Gliders are using a number of our reserves, even smaller reserves right next door to roads and houses.

"The findings will help council better manage the sites and ensure the populations can thrive."