Gliding possums in five landscapes have been given a helping hand thanks to $60,000 funding from the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife (FNPW).

“Habitat loss and fragmentation is a huge problem our native species face,” said Mr Ian Darbyshire, CEO of FNPW.

“By funding these important projects, we hope to prevent further habitat loss, increase glider population numbers, and keep our incredible native species in the Australian landscape.”

The grants were awarded to the Great Eastern Ranges Initiative to run projects as part of their new Glideways program – a collaborative suite of projects to conserve gliders and their habitat in the Ranges of Eastern Australia.

“Funding from FNPW enabled us to build on the work we are doing in the Kanangra-Boyd to Wyangala Link to engage and educate local communities about gliders. Together with funding from the Environmental Trust, the grant enabled us to develop ‘Wildlife Corridors for Kids’, a NSW curriculum linked teaching package on connectivity conservation for Stage 3 students,’ said Mary Bonet, Facilitator for the Kanangra-Boyd to Wyangala (K2W) partnership.

In addition to K2W, funding from FNPW was used to run successful Glideways projects in four other GER partnership areas. These included:

  • Engaging the community to enhance and extend glider habitat, as well as strengthen movement corridors in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. This involved planting 1,050 trees, weeding over 1.5 ha, installation of 8 nest boxes and a glider workshop which was attended by 34 members of the local community.
  • A Slopes to Summit partnership project in collaboration with the local Men’s Shed to develop remote camera technology for monitoring use of Squirrel Glider nest boxes in Thurgoona, and construction and installation of 30 nest boxes. The project builds on Albury Conservation Company’s nest box program.
  • A project run by Central Victorian Biolinks to facilitate knowledge sharing and provide seed funding for early stage projects. These included securing 5 ha of threatened glider habitat on private land, enhancing 10 ha of habitat, running a Glider Symposium in Seymour which attracted over 100 participants, and developing materials for school students on nest box building.
  • Developing a pilot Traditional Cultural Corridors project which builds on the indigenous engagement work of the Jaliigirr Biodiversity Alliance to facilitate collaboration between Aboriginal stakeholders and landholders, and empower local communities. This included providing funding and support for the inaugural Gumbaynggirr Living Land, Language and Culture Event in Bellingen which was attended by almost 200 people.

“The ripples from our Glider Symposium in central Victoria are still being felt. Participants enjoyed the opportunity to share their knowledge and discuss ways in which they could enhance and expand upon them as part of Glideways. FNPW’s grant has enabled us to develop a flagship project that our member groups have really got behind and are keen to develop further and raise funds around,” said Sophie Bickford, Facilitator of Central Victorian Biolinks Alliance.

Additional funding is now being sought to build on the FNPW funded projects and to ensure the long-term sustainability of the program.