Wildlife Research Wildlife Research Society
Ecology, management and conservation in natural and modified habitats

Home-range estimates and habitat of the yellow-bellied glider (Petaurus australis) at Waratah Creek, New South Wales

RL Goldingay and RP Kavanagh

Wildlife Research 20(3) 387 - 403
Published: 1993


The yellow-bellied glider (Petaurus australis), the largest of the exudivorous marsupials, lives in small family groupings and occupies virtually exclusive home ranges. A variety of estimation techniques were used to determine the home-range area of five glider groups. Two sets of data were analysed for each glider group; one included the locations of all observations while the other utilised a subset considered to represent independent observations based on a 3-h interval between consecutive locations. The techniques favoured for estimating home-range area, minimum convex polygon (MCP) and 95% isopleth of the harmonic mean (95% HM), gave mean values of 59 ha and 46 ha, respectively, when all data were included. These values were 28% and 14% larger, respectively, than those estimated with independent data. An extrapolation that accounted for the influence of the number of locations on the area estimated gave a mean MCP value of 63 ha for the five groups. This value was compared with estimates for other exudivorous mammals and is much greater than that predicted from the body weight of this species. The home ranges (defined by the 95% HM) of the five glider groups included different proportions of the seven forest types available in the study area. The forest type in which Eucalyptus ovata predominated was identified as a key habitat. It was the least abundant yet was included in all five home ranges, unlike several of the more abundant forest types which were absent from some home ranges. The above results are discussed in relation to forest management and conservation.


© CSIRO 1993

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