Connecting Country has been busy distributing nest boxes designed for Brush-tailed Phascogales throughout the Shire. We have half a dozen on our property at Woodbrook. During monitoring, Bryan McMullan from Connecting Country discovered Sugar Gliders (Petaurus breviceps) in several of the boxes and took the following photographs.
Sugar Gliders are assessed as ‘widespread but scattered’ in the region and ‘moderately common at some sites’ (Chris Tzaros). They are most common at sites with mature trees ‘with a well-developed understory of Black Wattle, Silver Wattle and Golden Wattle’. There are not many mature trees at our place because of rapacious timber-felling in the past, but there is an extensive cover of coppiced re-growth. It seems that the newly arrived man-made habitat is serving a valuable purpose.
The photograph below shows a female brood nest ready for the breeding season. No further monitoring will take place until the breeding season has concluded.
There is also clear evidence of prior occupation by bees. The colder weather seems to driven them away.
And for further reference and contrast, below is a typically inelegant Phascogale nest from another site. It seems our resident Phascogales are comfortable enough at the moment in the ceiling of our home – and who can blame them – what with the pre-insulated cavity and reliable slow combustion heating from below?
Thanks to Bryan McMullin for the photos.
Nice. I can only hope I have similar results at my place at South Muckleford when we check the activity around September. Like at your property, the Phascogales around here tend to prefer the cosiness of the roof space.
Great to see some photos of the animals that use nest boxes (artificial habitat). It is much more difficult to get a photo of them in a hollow tree (natural habitat). Remember that nest boxes do not need to be cleaned out! (excepting when feral honey bees have invaded). The animals are perfectly capable of preforming this task…even Tuans. Happy nest boxing. Miles.