News

A New Glider for the Blue Mountains

By Judy Smith and Peter Smith
Posted: 4 Dec 2020
Judy and Peter's book Native Fauna of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Images by Peter Smith
We have a “new” glider in the Blue Mountains.

In October 2019, when we published our book Native Fauna of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, we knew that we had five species of gliders locally (Greater, Yellow-bellied, Squirrel, Sugar and Feathertail Gliders). After the recent severe drought and mega fires, followed by COVID, it is exciting to now know that we have six different gliders living in the Blue Mountains.

Taxonomists have recently found that the Sugar Glider, one of our smaller gliders, actually includes three distinct species, two of which occur in NSW: the Sugar Glider and the newly described Krefft’s Glider. The more coastal Sugar Glider and the more westerly Krefft’s Glider meet in the Blue Mountains and we are fortunate to have both species here. The Sugar Glider has a short dark stripe on the top of its head, nose tip to neck. The dark head stripe on Krefft’s Glider extends much further down its mid-back. The accompanying photo of the Sugar Glider was taken at Blue Gum Swamp Creek, Winmalee and the Krefft’s Glider was at Machin’s Crater, Glenbrook. The naming of Krefft’s Glider celebrates German born Gerard Krefft who came to Australia in 1852 and is remembered as one of our best early naturalists as well as a skilled artist.

Our book, Native Fauna of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, is still available in the wonderful independent book stores across the Blue Mountains as well as at visitor centres. The book provides information about the gliders, as well as all 432 mammal, bird, reptile and frog species recorded in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. Having just marked the 20th anniversary of World Heritage Listing on 29th November 2000, it is good to know that we have a “new” species in our midst.

Krefft's Glider Machins Crater
Sugar Glider ss Blue Gum Swamp Creek
 
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