Squirrel gliders to call Potoroo home

ANTICIPATION: Potoroo Palace's sugar glider Kenzi will soon have a family of squirrel gliders as neighbours. The two species look very similar. Photo: Harrison Warne
ANTICIPATION: Potoroo Palace's sugar glider Kenzi will soon have a family of squirrel gliders as neighbours. The two species look very similar. Photo: Harrison Warne

There will soon be a fourth species of possum living at Potoroo Palace and preparations are underway for their arrival.

Currently a sugar glider, two brushtail and two ringtail possums can all be viewed and learnt more about, and staff are now very excited in anticipation of a family of squirrel gliders – Petaurus norfolcensis – joining the fold.

The possums are being generously donated by friend and supporter of Potoroo Palace Chris Humfrey, who is based in Macedon, Victoria, and of Wild Action Zoo fame. Wild Action Zoo and Potoroo Palace share similar values on the importance of conservation and education.

Squirrel gliders are very similar in appearance to the more common sugar glider, and to the untrained eye it would be hard to distinguish the two. The squirrel glider is however almost double the size of the sugar glider, its tail is also extremely bushy.

The two newly born squirrel gliders who will soon call Potoroo Palace home. Photo: Chris Humfrey

The two newly born squirrel gliders who will soon call Potoroo Palace home. Photo: Chris Humfrey

Unfortunately they are found only rarely these days due to loss of habitat and cat attacks and are now listed as vulnerable on the threatened species list for NSW. Their population is currently in decline and their distribution extremely patchy as result of clearing for agriculture and urban development.

As soon as their new enclosure is ready for them and has the required approval, arrangements will be made for their journey. The framework has now been completed, but still requires some interior design and decorating work before it is ready for them.

The squirrel gliders will have the flying-foxes as neighbours on one side, and the quolls on the other. 

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