Mahogany Gliders – Cyclones – predators and the Horrors of Barbed Wire!

Oct 12th 2012

It has been months – almost a year, since we have seen any mahogany gliders at Mungarru Lodge Sanctuary.
During the last 17years mahogany gliders, sugar gliders, feather tailed gliders and striped possums have been our companions in the night time treetops of the woodland remnant that is our home at Mungarru Lodge Sanctuary in the Kennedy Valley just north of Cardwell
Our gliders and possums survived TC Yasi but unfortunately our local population do not seemed to have fared well in the aftermath of the storm. With little shelter in their shattered forest, they spent many more hours in the open searching for food and many fell prey to a Rufous Owl that hunted relentlessly for months across the sanctuary. The owl is a very beautiful creature and we see him in a normal year for short periods at the sanctuary but he never stays for more than a week or so but last season he stayed while the hunting was good.
It has left us with a very silent nigh time forest depleted of many species, not just the gliders.
We are now concerned that the storm may have destroyed the tenuous linkages (corridors) that allowed our gliders and possums to disperse and repopulate. This is likely to be a major problem for the mahogany glider’s northern habitat, as many areas are extremely fragmented and the cyclone has only made the situation more difficult.

Today on my way back from Cardwell I finally saw a glider!
I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t seen it on my way into town…I reversed the car with a horrible cold feeling, knowing instantly that it was a mahogany and also knowing that it was too late…the poor little glider must have been hanging there terrified for at least a day – she was dead.
She is far from the first poor dead mahogany glider that I have gently removed from the barbs of this horrendously cruel wire but today was so very depressing.

Can we all please try to remember to look at the barbed wire fences in our areas as we drive along – many of these animals can be saved if only we can rescue them in time.
Every animal counts and it is such a horrifyingly cruel way to die.

Daryl Dickson

Mungarru Lodge Sanctuary



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