Kennedy Valley  -  Cardwell  - Tropical North Queensland Australia

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 Mahogany Glider - Cyclone Yasi

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Mahogany Glider -- TC Yasi Bulletin 1


Mahogany Glider -- TC Yasi Bulletin 3



Mahogany Glider -- TC Yasi Bulletin 2


Mahogany Glider -- TC Yasi Bulletin 4



Cassowary Award 2008

Daryl received a prestigious  Cassowary Award for her work in art and conservation in the Queensland Wet Tropics

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Daryl Dickson

Wildcard Art

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 Tel. 07 40660232

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Website Updated

FEB 2011

"Milo  female- orphan pouch young -rescued at 10g survived founder members of the captive breeding program

Blossom mungarru juv female- MG- barbed wire injured - survived founder members of the captive breeding program

Vic - barbed wire injury adult male- MG survived- founder members of the captive breeding program

Olle - territorial battle injury -  adult male- MG- survived -founder member of the captive breeding program

Milo & Blossom mungarru - founder members of the captive breeding program

Dale Juv Female orphan survived - founder member of breeding program

Vic - Adult male barbed Wire injury - survived - founder member of breeding program

Stoney 1st night - forgot to return to his den

Pan Adult Female barbed wire injury - Stoney's release partner


Stoney grooming Pan

Stoney returning to his country

Milo Stoney's Mum

Hogany orphaned male -survived - was the founder male of the breeding program - Stoney's dad

Stoney  son of Milo & Hogany

Stoney above a temp den - nose of one of two den young visible

Stoney above temp den

Stoney injury from radio collar

Stoney fur & tissue on the embedded radio collar band

Stoney recovery from territorial battle

Tassi - Female survived barbed wire injury but lost both her your and damaged her pouch that badly that she will only be able to suckle one young for the rest of her life- released

Too Late - A slow and dreadful death -

Injury from top strand barbed wire this female had 2 tiny young in the pouch - neither she nor her young survived

Ever - juv Female survived barbed wire injury - survived & released

Teddy adult male , Ever juv female & Ms Jones adult female  - all barbed wire injured radio collared & released

Release Diary – " Return to Country" 

Mahogany Glider [ Petaurus gracilis]

One of Australia's most endangered and least known arboreal mammals

Compiled from observation notes & comments of Daryl Dickson & Geoff Moffatt [MG carers resident at release site]

[ NB Additional Observations notes and observations  were recorded by EPA  Mark Parsons  but are not included in this issue of the release diary ]

Location :  Kennedy Valley,  North Queensland,  Australia  [north west of Cardwell]

Stoney  & Pan

Pre-release detail:

    • MG- adult female Pan - barbed wire injury to patagium April 3rd 2006–Pan has denned alone in an enclosure 7mx4mx4m for 6mths [in captivity for 9mths at release]
    • MG- male Stoney    3yr old captive bred [MG breeding prog, David Fleays Wildlife Park]

Release significance

    • [1] first wild release of a captive bred Mahogany Glider
    • [2] first monitored release of a Mahogany Glider after patagium injury from barbed wire 

Stoney arrived Oct 2006 – Stoney had been flown from the David Fleay Wildlife Centre on the Gold Coast in south east Queensland to Townsville, then transported by road by EPA, Queensland Parks & Wildlife senior ranger Mark Parsons to the Kennedy Valley soft release site. He travelled well, with minimal indication of stress. The introduction process commenced -  Stoney spent 2 days in isolation – no visual or physical contact with our [female MG]Pan's enclosure but close enough that both animals seemed very aware of each others presence. Day 3 visual contact – no adverse reactions – [appear to be very positive about company] Day 4 introduction – Pan has been without a den mate and alone for 9months and Stoney has been captive denned with other male gliders all his life. Their introduction and interaction was so very positive – there was no doubt that the gliders were compatible and very happy to be in each others company.

Stoney & Pan remained in captivity for 3mths giving Stoney time to acclimatise and become familiar with his release environment, and be aware of Pan's wild reaction to predators in the area and to build strength in the larger enclosure. This period allowed time to strengthen the pair bonding, mating to occur and young to be born.

Three dens have been present in the captive enclosure. All dens have been used.

On the day of release the two unoccupied dens were placed into the release area. The release area in approx 60m from the captive enclosure where bloodwoods are in bloom providing a ready supply of food. Grey-backed cane beetles and other small beetles are also in good supply and have been made available in the captive diet – both gliders have found them very palatable. The occupied den [the release den] was placed out into the release area at dusk 15/01/07.

Dens were placed in an area 40m in diameter.

Both gliders are in good health – Pan has pouch young - Radio collars fitted 5 days prior to release. Pan's collar fitted with no difficulty. Stoney's collar fitted with extreme difficulty – he is extremely sensitive to any handling around his neck. Release was delayed due to Stoney's collaring reaction – we were all concerned to ensure that the event and/or the collar would not cause any unforseen complications. He stayed in his captive den for 24hrs then emerged and appeared a little subdued but moving and feeding reasonably normally, after 5 days obs. we proceeded with release.

Season -Tropical North Queensland – Wet Season – seasonal conditions – extreme humidity – afternoon / evening rain

Release Area – less than ideal Mahogany Glider habitat – remnant woodland [bloodwood/acacia/eucalypt] vine thicket, riparian rainforest species, grasstrees – MG's have been observed intermittently in this area over the last 10 years.

Release Day [1]  15th  January 2007  No moon – dark

Obs 2000 to 0130 at 10min intervals

Stoney emerged about 2000 and was observed moving thru the canopy. Pan remained in the release den. Sugar gliders and flying foxes present in the area. Stoney was observed making some tentative initial jumps and short hops, spending the majority of time in the upper canopy. He ventured down to within 2m of ground and was observed to pass the trunk of the tree where the feed station was placed below the release den.  At the end of the observation period Stoney was within 30m of release den. Pan still in release den at 01.30.

Release Day [2]  16th  January 2007  Overcast, very light rain

0700 Pan's [transmitter] located at release den –

0700 – 0800 Stoney located 100m NW of release den, out in the open, under foliage in rainforest tree, about 12m off ground. Not in a retrievable situation. A small spare den, which had been present in their enclosure, was placed in an adjacent tree with a feed station, in the hope that he might take shelter there for the day. Visual obs continued throughout the day. The day became hot and clear. Raptors were observed in the area. 1415 Stoney observed sleeping. Stoney remained in the canopy and made no attempt to move to the den or to access the temp feed station.

1930  dark – Stoney still in RF tree, same position; he is awake but inactive. Pan still in den.

2120 Pan still in den

2015 – 2120  Stoney now moving back towards his release den but spends time foraging in flowering bloodwoods [doesn't reach the area of his release den until 23.00]. Foraging confirmed by showers of blossom beneath the trees. Stoney having difficulty gliding, particularly in braking and gripping. We observed at least five falls down to ground level, most occurring as he approached his release den. He is exhibiting a lot of effort in working out how to cross between trees through the canopy. He is avoiding ground contact and is, wisely, unwilling to travel along the ground. [He descends to within 2m of ground and then returns to a safer height.] He seems intent on finding a way to return to the den but is having great difficulty in working out how. He spent over an hour within a 15m radius around the den tree, continually trying to find a route to the tree and trying to cross toward it repeatedly. On one occasion launching from about 9m height, gliding 6m across toward the den tree, but failed to grip on landing and landed heavily on the ground, From there he appeared to pick up Pan's scent, particularly at a natural, vertical pipe hollow that Pan had visited and scent marked earlier this evening.

21.45 Pan emerged from den & seen in upper canopy [Stoney still on his way back] No direct interaction between Stoney & Pan observed although they came within close proximity of each other. Stoney gave a short sharp bark while in close proximity to Pan so can only assume that they were aware of each other.

Initial observation summary – Stoney's lack of gliding ability is logically a result of his captive background. Instinct seems to tell him what he has to do but his landing skills will take time to develop.  He demonstrates a determination to understand his situation and to resolve the puzzle of crossing the area adjacent to his target [his release den]. He is exploring all branch options along the tree trunk and he has been observed utilising thicker vegetation [ferns, vines, & RF trees] He is also scaling to the top of canopy trees [bloodwoods & acacias]. – This is clearly not what a wild origin glider would do under normal circumstances and certainly not what Pan is doing at present.

    Stoney's landings are awkward and uncertain; we can only hope that this will improve with experience and as he gains confidence. Stoney's short jumps and hops of 3-4m seem fine. Pre-release conditioning [TJ] has assisted in preliminary conditioning. This has been continued on arrival in the north with the enclosure providing vertical launch and landing opportunity. Stoney's longer glides involving braking and landing at speed place him at greatest risk. At this stage we have not confirmed his ability to "steer" and this may also be limiting his ability to manoeuvre and brake for landing. As gliders lose most of their height from launch we would require a significantly larger enclosure to allow captive gliders to gain experience of extended glides. It certainly seems that the incentive of having a close bond with his den partner carrying pouch young has contributed to Stoney's determination to return to the release den site despite his repeated failed attempts.

Release Day [3]  17th January 2007

0700  Pan in release den – Stoney in upper third of natural hollow [vertical pipe den] within 30m from release den.

Feed station checked - some food taken

1900 – raining

2210 – Stoney now in release den – has made it home! Rain easing

2245 – rain stopped but both gliders remain in den

Release Day [4]  18th Jauary 2007

0800 – Pan & Stoney both in release den

Feed station checked – all slurry taken & ½ fruit mix

Observations continued nightly –

    Pan appears to have just "returned to her wild life" new habitat but all the standard instincts remain – 9months in captivity have not affected her behaviour. Her patagium appears to be adequately recovered to allow her to move through her release habitat. She appears fit active, very alert and cautious.

24th January Pan's first extended glide [10m] glide was observed.

Stoney is slowly improving his abilities – has had his first encounters and interaction with flying foxes, has chased sugar gliders from "his" feed station and interacted with another Mahogany glider within his range: vocalising, and aggressively chasing it. 

29th January – Pan's transmitter signal continually in den but glider with distinctive V notch in patagium [Pan's distinctive ID marking from injury] sighted at feed station. It would appear she has managed to slip her collar. Will have to rely on visual obs from now on.

Torrential Rain – Rivers in flood – obs limited but both gliders still in the release area

6th February – Flying foxes feeding in canopy – sugar gliders at feed station – Stoney is choosing to feed in the canopy rather than utilize the feed station.

9th February – Rufous Owl calling

11th February – Stoney observed breaking open an occupied green ant nest – obviously finding a food source he persisted despite his discomfort then proceeded to an adjacent ant nest to continue foraging. [as far as we are aware this is not a behaviour that Pan has demonstrated but it has been Stoney's own initiative]

12 February – Stoney observed completing short glide and landing soundly.

28th February – Swamp Mahogany in bloom – foreign MG near feed station, Pan present but showed no reaction to glider, she observed it glide and land in an adjacent tree then continued grooming. The new glider is definitely MG but very unusual colour, very dark, large ears,fine profile, small animal with no cream trim on patagium, no scent gland visible – assume female.

1st – 3rd   March –  1600 observed a foot a the entry of a small wooden den, previously occupied by Sugar Gliders until a goanna attacked the box. Den was observed for 30min an MG could be seen high up in the box giving the impression that the small box held more than one glider. No way of knowing why they had moved dens or why they would choose a small exposed den.

Confused reports of what appeared to be a third glider occupying box with Stoney & poss Pan. Stoney reported to vocalise [gurgle] while sitting on top of box . Still unsure of third glider – seems very unlikely that it is new glider although there is at least one other glider in the area. It takes several days to work out what is going on. The regular appearance of a nose or noses at den opening now indicates that the unusual occupant/s are den young – much further advanced than expected [DD]

Pan & Stoney at feed station, lots of interaction, contact "clicking". Pan glides 20m-full extension – looks great! Stoney completes 10m glide and good but noisey landing. Stoney is scent marking and both gliders are moving thru canopy together. Striped Possum present in area. Gliders are feeding well. Pan feeding quickly at the feed station and returning to den, Stoney more inclined to forage before going to the feed station.

4th March – 2000 cool calm overcast

Stoney is in small den – small nose at den opening. Glider observed in bloodwood above den. Stoney emerges and sits on top of den – pees on den. Vocalisation heard from a glider in bloodwood close by. Stoney takes an aggressive posture and vocalising – then makes a soft clicking sound to den young then re-enters den. Striped Possum observed in the area.

5th March - "Stoney has joined the "big boys" club – observed him glide 15m-20m

The glide was right into the top of the canopy of the land tree so a tricky launch and landing – it looked like the work of a polished glider. It appear to have taken him only 6 weeks to adjust, he is moving freely which is a stark contrast to his earlier efforts." MP

"Agreed he is much improved but still very much noisier in the canopy than the very silent Pan – he will no doubt master this in weeks to come" DD

6th March  - 2030 warm,calm – late moon rise – day has been very hot

A face sighted at the small den – Pan left small den – Stoney still in small den Pan goes to feed station feeds, grooms in tree above then returns briefly to den, looks in and leaves. Another MG is present in a tree adjacent to the den but no interaction takes place. Pan returns to den again & encourages one of the young out soft clicking sound, she enters the den, then comes back out leaving her tail over the den opening, allowing the young to use her tail to climb up onto her back. Pan then moves to the top of her den tree and launches into a 4m glide with young on her back, she failed to land soundly and the young glider bounces off her back, falling into a golden orchid below. The young glider remained in the orchid and Pan after sighting the fallen young, returned to the small den to repeat the operation with the second of her den young. The second youngster failed to hang on tight enough when climbing out of the den and fell to the ground. It instinctually knew that it should climb the tree but unfortunately we had placed a metal sheath, as goanna protection, around the base of the tree. The fallen young could not climb back to Pan and Pan could not get down to her young. DD picked the young up and placed it above the metal sheath – Pan was descending. The young fell again, Pan was extremely agitated and Stoney was now posturing aggressively and descending the tree towards MP. DD picked the fallen young up again and placed it on Pan's back, Pan ascended the tree but Stoney had now launched himself at MP, attaching himself to Mark who managed to move close enough to the tree to allow Stoney to return to Pan & the young. Meanwhile the first of the young that had been hiding in the orchid had become frightened and climbed the bloodwood and was out of sight. Stoney returned to the top of the den, the young then climbed on his back and Stoney using short jumps and glides moved across to the original release den tree. Both young were next sighted higher up in this tree and Pan was ascending to join them. Stoney went off to the feed station. The young were then seen descending and entering the release den. Stoney returned to join them in the den. Pan returned to the small den on 2 occasions – decending close to the ground below the den, checking inside and peeing on it before returning to the release den. It would appear to confirm that Mahogany Gliders can glide with one young on their backs but it appears to be an extremely risky process. In this case we are unsure why the parent gliders moved the young into a den that was not only too small [particularly too shallow] for them but also too hot for them during the day. It might be assumed that this would possibly only be undertaken when a home den is perhaps threatened in some way.

7th March – 0800 all food taken from feed station last night

2000 – warm, calm – occasional shower

Glider vocalising in canopy of release den bloodwood – assume Pan – extended period of vocalisation – very unusual. Pan called for about 5min. Rufous Owl started calling very close to Pan – Rufous Owl located approx 10m from release den, it continued calling for 20min – Stoney remains at the release den entrance, Pan in canopy of release den bloodwood keeping watch – Pan eventually descends tree passes den to come along a branch towards me to investigate me as a possible threat. She appears to be very actively defending her den. Pan returns to den

8th – 10th March – Dark nights – hot – humid – overcast – electrical storms – very late moon rise

very little activity – little food taken – gliders may have been emerging very late with moon but no obs.

11th March  - Showers cool no moon

Stoney observed returning to den – juv at den opening – Stoney very cautious and alert on approach to den. He checks below the den, circled the tree below & above den before entering making soft vocalisations to the young.

12th – 18th March – showery cool – S Glider feeding on fruit of Ivory Basswood – Flying foxes active – few Mg sightings – note records that Pan is so very silent in the canopy and Stoney still hasn't mastered stealthy landings.

20th – 24th March -  Pan & Stoney both feeding in the canopy & accessing feed station. Both extremely alert & cautious coming down to within 1m of ground at feed station to check the area before feeding – faces at the den when both Pan & Stoney are out & about. The young show no sign of venturing out yet. Rufous Owl heard calling 22/03 & 25/03. Flying Foxes & Sugar Gliders still present in area. Goannas are about during the day.

26th March 1100  Very large goanna showing interest in release den tree. And climbs den tree. Pan exits den first followed by Stoney – both move to the canopy and remain there. No sign of young – goanna too large to enter den and does not follow the gliders up the tree. Goanna leaves but Stoney & Pan remain in the canopy until dark whenthey descend and re-enter den. 1900 Pan out early descends to within 500mm of ground, vocalising as she returns to den, one young exits den climbs on Pans back and Pan re-enters the den with young. Stoney then exits the den and descends the tree, checking the base of the tree and around the den before re-entering the den.

27th March - 8th April having difficulty with Stoney's transmitter signal 7/04 Rufous Owl calling – 8/4 Rufous Owl calling.

10th April 1800-2030  Stoney not sighted since 30 March – advised Mp of concern. MP spots our missing Stoney in top of den tree, collar is still on but no signal. Observed intermittently for 2hrs. 2330 Mg vocalising in swamp mahogany above house – called for 5-10min – no collar visible assume Pan – Rufous Owl calling.

11th April  Pan observed at feed station, left feed station and went to release den – first observed activity in 8 days – no vocalisation on entering den. Rufous Owl Calling.

20th April  MG calling [Rufous owl warning call] no owl spotted on this occasion but the call is consistent with Pan's now repeated response to the presence of Rufous.

29th April  Approaching full moon- Pan & Stoney at feed station, both in good condition. Stoney's scent gland very evident. Lots of interaction, contact - grooming each other. No sign of young-den location unknown. They are not using any of the artificial dens.

12th-26th May Infrequent sightings  only observed 12th & 15th  Stoney in canopy 12th & Pan at feed station 15th.

26th May Wet Dark 1910 – Stoney turned up in the kitchen – Odd behaviour – offered food and coaxed onto scales – weight very low 326g. Collar still in place, we took this opportunity to remove his collar [no fuss]. On removal it was obvious there was a problem. Removal revealed a large wound where the screw affixing the collar has gouged a hole in his neck. A large wound has developed and the skin has grown over the collar – very nasty. This we assume will be the cause of the weight loss. We treated the wound with antiseptic cream & powder and made a decision not to restrain him and to leave him free rather than bring him back in as there did not appear to be infection present, apart from the wound and weight loss he seemed in fair condition. With hindsight, we think that he had possibly been visiting the house for about 10days. We had assumed that the activity on the veranda at night had been a White-tailed Rat but both of us had though the activity a bit odd. We now think that in the absence of any blossom he has sort out his old food source "people"  We think he may have been foraging in the kitchen fruit scraps and the wallaby food – his human imprint !

We took photos to send to vet to make sure he agreed with our decision and to get advise re ongoing treatment. [collar too tight – bad design – remained on animal for too long]

27th May Midnight  patchy rain – moonlight  Checked neck – no infection – treated with anticeptic powder. There is a second lump which when pressed ejected a plastic stud from the collar that had embedded itself under his skin. Fed well 20-25ml slurry – very clumsy departure thru heleconias then along the ground to tree.

28th May 1830 – moonlight misty – light rain – Pan & Stoney at feed station 2100 Stoney at house – offered food while we treated his neck. Looking good – better departure via trees.

30th May  0030  - moonlight damp – Stoney on veranda – neck feels good healing well – took 25ml slurry

2nd June – 2nd July  Cold - various sighting Pan at feed station – Stoney at house – neck almost completely healed – in general he is cold & hungry – takes feed quickly & leaves.

2nd – 21 st July -   very cold clear – Very little food around – no blossom, no insects, no fruit. Sugar Gliders, Striped Possums & fruit & nectar eating birds are all very hungry & short of feed. New barbed wire injured female MG [Tassi] in enclosure on veranda. Stoney is visiting her, his scent gland is very evident. Pan continues to be sighted in the area. Tassi moved to large enclosure 21st – Stoney sighted there same night.

9th August cool-dark – Stoney at feed station – vocal interaction with Striped Possum – Stoney gave way to Stripey and moves off.

23rd August – cool- moonlight – Stoney at feed station, scent gland very evident. Aggressive Interaction with sugar glider  Stoney chased S Glider off. He appears to have a small injury above his eye.

2nd September – continued interactions between Striped Possum & Sugar gliders & Stoney – Stoney gives way to Stripey & chases S Gliders off

10th September – 1930 – MG vocalising behind office – assume Pan – sounds like Rufous Owl warning again. Calling continues for 10min [recording made] Silent Rufous Owl located [we now assume when the owl is silent it is seriously hunting. Pan moved off then commenced calling approx 10min later from a different position. We located her and found the owl in the new location. It appeared that she had followed the owl and was giving warning of the new position.

11th September – 18 October Cool Dark – smoky – interactions with Striped Possum & S Gliders continue

19th October  - warmer weather – Poss F MG at feed station – no ID grey belly with small cream square poss female. – sighted again 24th then interacting with Tassi 11th November.

14th November – Wet-dark-cool – Stoney at house – weighed 357g – appears in good condition – scent gland still evident.

 December 2007 – Stoney continues to call at house intermittently – not particularly hungry, can be touched but certainly does not wish to be restrained – calm & in good condition

January 2008 – Wet & thundery – Stoney occasional visits to house using different entry & exit points – wary & alert. No sighting of Pan. No feed stations have been used for some time now as it appeared to be causing too much interaction between species & the white tailed rat had started to steal the ss bowls.

28th January   2008 - 2200 Stoney has arrived at the house unable to put his hind foot on the ground. He has a significant injury around his eye and leg looks very swollen. Injuries are serious enough to restrain him and require vet assessment. Scooped him up, washed wounds, fed him and placed him in hospital box. Contacted Graham Lauriston [Vet] am 30 th, not on duty but will come in, appt 0930. Weight down again 330g – eye ok but bad infection in leg & claw lost. Antibiotics for 4 days – Not happy at being in but it is necessary. 31st transferred from hospital box to small enclosure. Now 352g swelling reduced – released 4th Feb. Looks much better. Funny little chap – in so many ways he has adapted well but he certainly does not relate to his world in the same way as our wild gliders. Not sure how many lives MG's have…but off he goes again…

 February – March 2008 Going thru a period of regular visits – up to 4 days inbetween – not always seeking interaction or food – various times of night and morning – caught him catching moths in the lounge at 3am this morning [it should be noted that our house is an extremely open structure [just part of his forest]

15th March 2008 – Stoney has another injury above his eye – treated with Trycin – not serious enough to bring him in. Otherwise OK

23rd March – 2008 – Stoney eye looking OK – good condition

April – May 2008 – catching moths in the house in the wee hours again – eating Joeys food – guess there isn't much food about. Very hungry – intermittent visits

13th May 2008  -Stoney Injured again – serious deep injury near eye – eye partially closed – Front leg very swollen & infected. Claw missing and other facial injuries. No choice but to bring him in – vet visit this morning – Eye seems OK no broken bones – deep wounds – antibiotics again – in for next 10 days

 23rd May 2008 Stoney released again – it will take a while before he starts looking good – he looks like an old battle scarred MG – lots of fur missing on his face – deep wound still healing – leg ok – The fur loss around his neck from the radio collar has never regrown  - not the pretty city boy he was on arrival.

Edit notes finish for now at July 14th – Stoney has just called in…..

He is lean and healthy, it has been extremely cold through June & July. Blossom has been out in Eucalypt for the last 2 weeks and we have seen little of him. His preference is for wild food when he can find it – his human imprint is significant in that when times get tough he seeks human assistance.

DD Summary -

We have had the benefit of sharing Stoney & Pan's release area throughout the past 18months. Here is a summary of our assessment of the outcomes to date:

  • I doubt that Stoney would have survived without his wild den mate and a sound den bonding prior to release. Her predator awareness in this habitat would seem to have been essential as was her bond to ensure he maintained contact with a safe den while he got used to his release area.
  • only luck prevented serious injury from his early inability to glide and land safely despite the benefit of TJ's efforts and our ongoing conditioning for 3mths within the larger enclosure here.
  • his injuries have most likely been the result of territorial battles with other MG's. These encounters would appear to be a life threatening process and only his human imprint and ability to seek help has saved his life. The infections have been serious enough if untreated to have been life threatening over time
  • Pan's long term outcome at present is unknown – she was doing well when last sighted and it is certainly possible that she has moved off in search of food leaving Stoney in his release area – he may be less willing to move when feed is low
  • the outcome for their young is unknown but due to few sightings we may assume that they did not survive – with goannas, pythons and owls present any one of these may have taken the den young. There was some interaction that indicated that a second mating took place in April 2007 but no further observations confirm an outcome.
  • radio collar design needs modification, internal surfaces should be smooth – collars need to be fitted under controlled situations where we can be sure that they are not too tight. Observation after they have been fitted may not give a clear indication of the collar being too tight. Collars should only be left is place for a very limited period.
  • Stoney is surviving, he glides and lands well and now lands quietly and confidently. He is predator alert and dens in natural dens [sites unknown]. He seeks wild food in preference to anything else but his captive history means that he is still comfortable in the proximity of humans, moves through man made structures as if they are a natural part of his habitat, seeks food in areas that no wild glider would venture, moves along the ground when he should not [but primarily within build structures].
  • Stoney's release has been "successful" in that it has offered Pan an improved release situation and the ability for us to track and record the release of a glider recovered from a serious barbed wire injury to the patagium and it has given Stoney a chance at freedom and life in the wild while allowing us to collect invaluable data of the release prospects for captive bred Mahogany Gliders.
  • It is my strong belief that given the restricted availability of habitat for this species, the need for extensive conditioning prior to release and post release support that, at present, it would notbe advisable or ethical to look at a release of large number of captive bred Mahogany Gliders.
  • With the right conditioning and support it may well be possible to release, with support and monitoring, animals to accompany injury rehabilitated gliders in the future.
  • Should we ever reach a stage where we have restored greater connectivity for the fragmented habitat that still remains for this species and we have established a pre-release conditioning facility within the Mahogany Glider habitat, we may well have an opportunity to look at captive breeding and release in years to come.  I hope the gliders have time.........

by saving and conserving the habitat of the mahogany glider we also save a whole suite of other rare and precious fauna & flora in the lowland coastal woodlands of Australia's wet tropics

What can you do to assist? 

Write to:

 The Hon.Tony Burke, Minister for the Environment  Parliament House Canberra ACT 2006

Make a donation to Bush Heritage, Australian Wildlife Conservancy and encourage the organisation to look at the needs of the mahogany glider

Contact the WWF, talk to your MP, write to the Premier of Qld, Anna Bligh & Minister Andrew MacNamarra. Write a letter to the editor, call talk back radio.

Raising the profile of the Mahogany Glider, one of Australia's most rare and endangered species, is essential if they are not to slide silently into extinction

 if we all do just a little it will make a big difference!


Dec 2010 - Update -  Stoney is still alive and well. A little more weather worn but still out there. He is now blind in one eye, has 3 healed breaks in his tail, a permanent hole in his patagium (gliding membrane) and a recurring knee injury. Dispite all these problems he is still living successfully in the wild with a little support from time to time. His "human imprint" and his release location have given him the ability to seek assistance when times get really tough and this, on several occasions, has saved his life by allow us to intervene with vet assistance and support feeding. What has surprised us the most has been his "absolute need" to remain wild, it is only too evident that he does not wish to remain in captivity even when he has been injured. His preference for wild food whenever it is available is also very obvious; he only seeks additional food when times are really tough.

For an animal to have been born in captivity and kept in captivity until he was four years old, than 1000km from his native habitat, to behave in this way surprises me and leaves me with the absolute belief that given the opportunity to be free in natural habitat Mahogany Gliders will choose freedom and the search for wild food over a "safe" captive den with a reliable but unnatural food supply......his story continues


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