Diet of the squirrel glider in a fragmented landscape near Mackay, central Queensland

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Ball, TM, Adams, E & Goldingay, RL 2009, 'Diet of the squirrel glider in a fragmented landscape near Mackay, central Queensland', Australian Journal of Zoology, vol. 57, no. 5, pp. 295-304.

The publisher's version of this article is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1071/ZO08095

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We investigated the diet of the squirrel glider (Petaurus norfolcensis) from within a highly fragmented landscape in the northern (tropical) part of its geographic range where information was absent. We analysed 86 faecal samples of 53 gliders from 11 locations and obtained 97 observations of 10 gliders feeding at two locations. Pollen of Eucalyptus/Corymbia was present in 70% and Melaleuca in 20% of faecal samples. Indicators of sap feeding were present in 44% of samples and seeds were present in 14% of samples. Invertebrates, mostly moth larvae, were present in 54% of samples. Observations of gliders feeding revealed that the main food types were invertebrates (36% of observations), nectar and pollen (27% of observations) and sap (26% of observations) of five tree species. Differences in the use of the major food types revealed by the two methods of diet analysis partly reflect site-based differences. Qualitatively, the diet was similar to that described in southern Australia, with confirmation that sap may be important at some locations. Our results reveal the contribution that different tree species make to the diet, which should be used to guide habitat restoration for the squirrel glider in this fragmented landscape. © 2009 CSIRO.