Threatened species under protection

The Squirrel Glider Project will aim to protect threatened species.
The Squirrel Glider Project will aim to protect threatened species.

An exciting and innovative project aimed at protecting threatened species in the Young Shire is reaping benefits, recent monitoring results from Cowra-based Mid Lachlan Landcare have shown.

The Squirrel Glider Project commenced in the Crowther district in 2010 under the former Lachlan Catchment Management Authority (CMA).

The Squirrel Glider Project set out to address threats by increasing habitat, removing barbed wire and reducing animal predation. Hundreds of trees and shrubs have been planted, a hundred nest boxes installed in trees on ten properties, barbed wire removed from fences and feral animals controlled.

Monitoring of the project is vital to ascertain if these activities are actually making a difference to the Squirrel Glider's survival in the Crowther area. In 2011 the Lachlan CMA contracted Vanessa Cain, now Landcare Support Officer (LSO) with Cowra-based Mid Lachlan Landcare, to monitor sites on properties where nest boxes had been installed. The results of regular night-time spotlighting, nest box checking using a SnakeEye micro camera and the installation of remote infrared cameras at selected boxes have been staggering. Thirteen Squirrel Gliders have now been found in six boxes, with a further 25 boxes containing glider leaf nests with no gliders present at the time of monitoring.

Young District Landcare is also supporting the project, with Landcare Support Officer Mikla Lewis assisting with monitoring and organising field days and workshops in the area.

"We are very grateful to the many local landholders who have embraced the project, allowing us to install nest boxes on their properties and assisting us with monitoring, planting and other activities", Vanessa said.

"However, it is a reciprocal arrangement, with landholders receiving free plants and assistance in learning about the Squirrel Glider and the other species found on their properties."

For more information about the Squirrel Glider Project, please contact Vanessa Cain on 0405 325 750 or email midlachlanlandcare@gmail.com