15 January, 2021
Glider Joey brings joy to CaPTA
AUSTRALIA’S leading wildlife experience, Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas, is proud to announce the successful emergence of an endangered Mahogany Glider joey.
The joey is the only Mahogany Glider joey to be successfully born in captivity in the last two years in Australia.
As well as being an adorable addition to the Wildlife Habitat family, the female joey also signifies the park’s impressive successes in conserving one of Australia’s most threatened mammals.
Wildlife Habitat is proud to be part of a small captive breeding program, alongside several other Zoo and Aquarium Association accredited wildlife institutions, which aim to sustain a healthy, genetically diverse captive population of Mahogany Glider.
The female joey was born in early November to resident Mahogany Glider Acacia, who was born at Wildlife Habitat 4 years ago and was the last successful joey born via the breeding program.
The Mahogany Glider (Petaurus gracilis) is Australia’s only endangered marsupial species and can be found in a tiny fragment of habitat between Townsville and Cardwell.
Incredibly, in 1989, this species “returned from extinction”, with no sighted species on record for over a century! Prior to 1989, the last record of a Mahogany Glider was in 1983.
The Mahogany Glider is listed as endangered and it is estimated that there are only 1500 remaining in the wild.
Wildlife Manager Rabecca Lynch said it was vital to maintain a healthy captive population of this fragile and endangered species.
“Breeding endangered species in captive environments is extremely important to maintain viable genetics, as the numbers of these animals have diminished to such a degree that they may disappear forever without intervention,” she said.
“If we can breed these species successfully, there then lies hope that at some time in the future they may be able to be released back out into the wild and our conservation efforts can have maximum impact.”
The mum and baby are housed in the parks’ new Nocturnal Habitat, which uses a reverse cycle lighting facility to mimic night and day, marking what may be the first time in captive wildlife history that this species has been bred in this type of facility.
The Wildlife Habitat’s reverse cycle facility has also seen success in breeding the Northern Bettong, another endangered species that is endemic to the Far North Queensland region, with 4 joeys born in the past twelve months.
“Having successfully bred two endangered species in the last twelve months, Wildlife Habitat continues to cement its status as one of Australia’s leading conservation wildlife sanctuaries,” Ms Lynch said.