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National recovery plan for the yellow-bellied glider (Wet Tropics) Petaurus australis unnamed subspecies





Title: National recovery plan for the yellow-bellied glider (Wet Tropics) Petaurus australis unnamed subspecies

Prepared by: Queensland Department of Environment and Resource Management

Title page: Yellow-bellied glider (Wet Tropics) by J.W. Winter



© The State of Queensland, Department of Environment and Resource Management, 2010

Copyright protects this publication. Except for purposes permitted by the Copyright Act, reproduction by whatever means is prohibited without the prior written knowledge of the Department of Environment and Resource Management. Inquiries should be addressed to GPO Box 2454, Brisbane, QLD 4001.

Copies may be obtained from the:

Assistant Director-General

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service

Department of Environment and Resource Management

GPO Box 2454

Brisbane Qld 4001



Disclaimer:

The Australian Government, in partnership with the Department of Environment and Resource Management, facilitates the publication of recovery plans to detail the actions needed for the conservation of threatened native wildlife.


The attainment of objectives and the provision of funds may be subject to budgetary and other constraints affecting the parties involved, and may also be constrained by the need to address other conservation priorities. Approved recovery actions may be subject to modification due to changes in knowledge and changes in conservation status.

Publication reference:

Department of Environment and Resource Management 2011. National recovery plan for the yellow-bellied glider (Wet Tropics) Petaurus australis unnamed subspecies. Report to Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities, Canberra. Department of Environment and Resource Management, Brisbane.



Contents




Page

Executive Summary

4

1. General information

5

Conservation status

5

International obligations

5

Affected interests

5

Consultation with Indigenous people

6

Benefits to other species or communities

6

Social and economic impacts

7

2. Biological information

7

Species description

7

Life history and ecology

8

Distribution

9

Habitat critical to the survival of the species

10

Important populations

12

3. Threats

12

Biology and ecology relevant to threats

12

Identification of threats

12

Fire regime

13

Clearing and fragmentation of habitat

13

Grazing regime

14

Barbed wire fencing

14

Climate change

15

Areas and subpopulations under threat

15

4. Recovery objectives, performance criteria and actions

16

Overall objective

16

Specific objectives

16

Objective 1 – Determine essential habitat

16

Objective 2 – Implement fire regimes to maintain essential habitat and rainforest expansion on protected area estate

16

Objective 3 – Protect and manage habitat outside protected area estate

17

Objective 4 – Research the impacts of cattle on glider habitat

18

Objective 5 – Assess and monitor glider populations

18

Objective 6 – Improve understanding of climate change impacts

19

Summary table

21

5. Management practices

23

6. Estimated costs

24

7. Evaluation of recovery plan

25

Acknowledgements

25

List of Abbreviations

25

References

26







Executive Summary

Species status

The yellow-bellied glider (Wet Tropics) Petaurus australis unnamed subspecies, is a nocturnal gliding marsupial. It is listed as ‘Vulnerable’ under both the Queensland Nature Conservation Act 1992 and the Commonwealth Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999. The yellow-bellied glider (Wet Tropics) has been referred to previously as Petaurus australis reginae but is now more correctly known as Petaurus australis unnamed subspecies.


Habitat and distribution

The yellow-bellied glider (Wet Tropics) is largely restricted to the narrow band of wet eucalypt open forest (also called wet sclerophyll forest) that is an ecotone between rainforest and drier woodland ecosystems. This habitat provides the two key habitat resources, den trees (principally rose gum Eucalyptus grandis) and sap feed trees (red mahogany Eucalyptus resinifera ­–­­ locally known as red stringybark). The diet is highly varied but sap represents a major food source.


The yellow-bellied glider (Wet Tropics) is found in the Wet Tropics Bioregion of Queensland. The current distribution remains similar to its likely distribution prior to European settlement. The range is between Yamanie Creek catchment (70 km west of Cardwell) and Mt Windsor Tableland (100 km north-west of Cairns), a distance of around 260 km. There are three major subpopulations:

  1. the Cardwell Range - Herberton Range subpopulation occurs over 130 km

  2. the Mt Carbine Tableland subpopulation occurs over 25 km

  3. the Mt Windsor Tableland subpopulation occurs over 20 km


Threats summary

Several threats are affecting the survival of yellow-bellied gliders (Wet Tropics). The threats principally relate to habitat alteration and fragmentation. In order of likely significance these are:



  • changed vegetation structure due to change in fire regime and other factors (major)

  • clearing and fragmentation of habitat (moderate)

  • grazing regime (minor)

  • barbed wire fencing (minor)

  • climate change (unknown)


Recovery objective

To manage the impact of threatening processes on yellow-bellied gliders (Wet Tropics) to protect and recover populations throughout their range.



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