Sugar Glider

Petaurus breviceps

Sugar Gliders, Ringtails and Brushtail Possums are common inhabitants of Baw Baw’s trees.

Sugar Gliders are small nocturnal possums that glide from tree to tree using a gliding membrane which connects their fore and hind legs. They can glide up to 50m using their tails as a rudder.

The Sugar Gliders’ fur is thick, soft, and is usually an ash-grey to brown-grey above, with a dark stripe that extends from the middle of the head to the mid-back region. The belly, throat and chest are cream in colour, and the bushy tail, which can average about 19cm, is darker and in some cases may have a white tip. They grow to be about 24 – 30cm in length, weighing up to 115 grams, and have a lifespan of up to 9 years.  Information from: which has lots of interesting information.

They bore holes with their teeth to access the stored liquid ‘gum’ in eucalypt trees. It is this staining down the tree which gives the clue that sugar gliders might be active in a tree (p.7 Drouin Tree Walks book). Sugar Gliders also eat nectar, insects and small lizards and birds.

Habitat destruction and fragmentation is contributing to the decline of this little gliding possum. Australian Wildlife reports that the species was hard hit by the 2019-2020 bushfires causing large scale degradation of habitat. Other threats also being feral cats, foxes and barbed wire damaging the animal’s gliding membrane.

Sugar Gliders live in family groups and make a soft “yip yip” sound.