Gliding performance in the yellow-bellied glider in low-canopy forest

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Goldingay, RL 2014 2014, 'Gliding performance in the yellow-bellied glider in low-canopy forest ', Australian Mammalogy, vol. 36, pp. 254-258.

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Knowledge of the gliding performance of gliding mammals is fundamental to understanding how these species have adapted to their environment and is of increasing relevance to their conservation. I describe aspects of the glide performance of the yellow-bellied glider (Petaurus australis) based on 22 glides of 17 individuals within 20–30-m-high open forest in western Victoria. Gliders launched into a glide from a horizontal branch that was, on average, 2.8 m below the top of a tree, 5.2 m out from the main trunk and 18.5 m above the ground. Gliders landed on the trunks of trees 5.8 m above the ground. The mean horizontal glide distance was 25.2 ± 1.5 m (s.e.) (range = 19–45 m), producing a glide ratio (horizontal distance/height dropped) of 2.0 and a glide angle of 27.3°. These values are similar to those reported for other gliding petaurids in low-canopy forest. This knowledge should be used to guide the management of habitat connectivity for yellow-bellied gliders.

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