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Arboreal mammals that inhabit Sportsman Creek Conservation Area

Beautiful Sugar Glider found on Red Ironbark tree in the Wildlife Refuge.

The newly published book “Bush Companion Fauna Species of the Clarence Valley and Northern Rivers, New South Wales” is available to purchase direct from the publisher.

This book contains over 310 “full colour plate” fauna species in 250 “perfect bound” pages with both common and scientific names.

Order by email at to reserve your copy.

Price $25 a copy plus postage from Sportsman Creek Press.

Bush Companion Cover

Arboreal mammals such as Yellow-bellied Gliders and Sugar Gliders open trees to provide a continuous meal of  flowing sap. Image taken on the Island of the Conservation Area.  

Image of the world’s smallest marsupial gliding possum with a body length of 6.5-8cm. Also known as the Pygmy Sugar Glider they eat flowers, nectar, pollen and insects. Although found along the entire Eastern Seaboard it is a first time sighting for the Conservation Area. They glide up to 5 times an hour and can glide over 20 metres between tall trees.

I.D. courtesy of Dr. Greg Clancy

Further reference –

Image –…/Nocturnal-House/Feathertail-Glider/-

A healthy population of these nocturnal gliding marsupials inhabit all areas of Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge. “At around 40cm long from nose to tail, they weigh just 150 grams”. Sugar Gliders are capable of glides up to 100 metres. Because these mammals have such high metabolism, the winter season can lead them to undertake a daily “torpor” of 2-23 hours, depending on circumstances. They achieve this by lowering their body temperatures and energy levels, depending on stores of fat to regulate the system.

Image;   courtesy Internet file share.

Found along the eastern and northern coasts of Australia and New Guinea. These marsupials can be found across the Dry schlerophyl forests on the wildlife refuge. They nest in the hollow of a tree or a nest made from twigs and leaves. Often living in groups of 10-15 with a dominant male. Omnivorous, preying on insects, birds eggs, lizards, arachnids, in winter turning to nectar, sap of eucalypts and pollen. Highly vocal with a variety of chatter, bark, chirp and “crabbing” sounds.  Capable of glides up to 100 metres. Considered one of the most abundant  Australian mammals and of least environmental concern. Image courtesy of Internet File Share.

An adult Squirrel Glider about to be carefully released after a night survey of  fauna at Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge. They feed on insects, sap and nectar and are restricted to stands of mixed forest that contain at least one species of winter-flowering eucalypt or banksia that can contribute to a reliable, year-round food supply.

This large gliding possum inhabits the tall eucalypts on Sportsman Creek wildlife refuge. They can cover up to 100 metres in a single glide. Classified as a Threatened species and mammal for Conservation Concern. They occur in family groups of 2 or more and nest in tree hollows where they build substantial, spherical nests of eucalyptus leaves.

References;  N.P.W.S.  Threatened Species of the Upper North Coast of N.S.W.

Image Credit;  R. Whitford.

A Glider feeding station on a large Flooded Gum tree near Sportsman Creek. Gliders chew away the bark to release the sticky gum.



This nocturnal Squirrel Glider inhabits the Bloodwood and Ironbark forest on the refuge. These gliders inhabit areas which provide abundant insects, sap of wattles and gums, nectar , pollen and seeds. Photograph taken in winter with Glider feeding in winter flowering Coastal Banksia. They are listed as  Threatened species and fauna of Conservation concern due to land clearing and fragmentation of forest habitat.  They can glide over 50 metres between trees.