Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology

Socioecology of the Yellow-Bellied Glider, Petaurus-Australis, at Waratah-Creek, Nsw

RL Goldingay and RP Kavanagh

Australian Journal of Zoology 38(3) 327 - 341
Published: 1990


Aspects of the socioecology of the yellow-bellied glider were examined at Waratah Creek near Bombala in south-eastern New South Wales. Gliders lived in family groups consisting of an adult monogamous pair plus offspring. Mean group size was 2.6 individuals. Females gave birth to a single young, often in successive years. Young were only born between June and December with a pronounced peak between July and September. A food availability model was constructed and used to account for the pattern of reproduction among gliders. The onset of breeding usually occurred when exudates were abundant. Late lactation and the weaning of young (periods when the protein requirements of mother and young are likely to be greatest) coincided with summer. This was a time when the highly predictable bark shed of Eucalyptus viminalis occurred, which presumably provided an abundant arthropod (i.e. protein) resource. This breeding pattern ensured that young were foraging independently before the ensuing winter.

© CSIRO 1990

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