Iconic Australian marsupial heading for extinction

Rylea McGlusky

Greater gliders are Australia's largest gliding marsupial but some groups are heading for extinction: with the species conservation status now declared ‘vulnerable’.

Until 20 years ago, this iconic species was frequently spotted in the forests of Australia’s east coast. However, land-clearing, logging and the increasing threat of bushfires has led to rapid large population declines.

Ms Rylea McGlusky, an Honours student from the University of the Sunshine Coast, is spending the year monitoring greater glider numbers and habitat in St Mary State Forest, a 30,000-hectare region in south-eastern Queensland.

‘I am comparing the population and environment today with the findings from a survey in the same forest made 20 years ago by one of my supervisors, Dr Teresa Eyre,’ said Ms McGlusky.

Ms McGlusky is the 2017 recipient of the Ecology Society of Australia applied forest ecology scholarship.

Read more