The Kanangra 2 Wyangala (K2W) Glideways project are finalists in the Banksia Awards, and will continue to grow its operation under a $100,000 grant.
Since 2013, the project has revegetated more than 500 hectares, in an effort to conserve the natural habitat of gliders and restore natural connections.
The project, has been rolled out across sites Wombeyan, Copperhania, Abercombie, Gillindich and Wyangala reserves, and will add another district to the existing program of Gillindich-Wyangala.
The areas are home to five of the six species of gliding possum found in Australia; Squirrel Glider, Yellow-bellied Glider, Feathertail Glider, Sugar Glider and Greater Glider.
“It's great to have our efforts acknowledged in this way and be able to expand the Glideways project into new areas,” said Mary Bonet, K2W Glideways Project Manager.
“The reduction in habitable land has led to the squirrel glider becoming a threatened species.
“Gliders need both hollow-bearing trees and surrounding bushland in which to feed; a loss of flowering shrubs through clearing, competition for hollows from feral bees and exotic birds, and the hazards of feral predators and barbed wire fences has seen the disappearance of gliders from many areas,” she said.
“If we do nothing to assist gliders, populations will continue to fall and we will lose them from our landscape forever.”
The project will expand their work with school groups and men’s sheds, to build, install and monitor nest boxes.
As patches of habitat have become smaller, the number of trees has also reduced leaving less food for gliders and more competition for homes in hollow-bearing trees.
Gliders are dependent on hollow-bearing trees for nesting, roosting and shelter, often using several different dens within their home range.
Providing nest boxes at revegetation sites is an important part of the restoration approach.
“The best hollows are found in very old trees which have had time to develop. Unfortunately, many of these big old specimens have been lost through agricultural clearing and urban development.
“Replanting alone is not sufficient, we need to install nest boxes to serve as supplementary den sites.
“It’s a pretty simple strategy,” said Ms Bonet.
If we do nothing to assist gliders, populations will continue to fall and we will lose them from our landscape forever.Mary Bonet, K2W Glideways Project Manager
“Gliders are an important indicator of ecosystem health. By focusing our projects around maintaining and improving habitat for gliders we are in turn ensuring that a range of other plants and animals benefit too.
“We are hoping that this restoration work will enable gliders to move back into these forests,” she added.
The project will work alongside Landcare and landholders to revegetate and protect habitat, pest animal control projects, fencing and revegetation, training for landholders and threat management.
It also aims to raise community awareness between landholders and their properties that contribute to natural glideways that support the movement of squirrel gliders.
The K2W Glideways project will also develop agreements with farmers that include landholder involvement in nest box construction, installation and maintenance.
In addition the project will also tackle coordinated management of feral predators and introduced grazers.
“The projects will assist not only gliding possums but a host of other plants and animals with similar conservation needs such as koalas, spotted-tailed quolls and powerful owls,” said Ms Bonet.
State Member for Goulburn Pru Goward awarded the grant under the Saving our Species Conservation Co-Funding Scheme.
Ms Goward said the Saving our Species Conservation Co-Funding Scheme was a three-year commitment.
“I congratulate the K2W Glideways foundation, they are highly experienced at restoring natural habitat and threatened ecological communities as well as controlling threats to conservation.
“I’m pleased to say that under the co-funding scheme partners are required to match government investment, this means together we can stretch our reach of threatened species projects even further," she added.