Characteristics of the den trees of the yellow-bellied glider in western Victoria

Ross L. Goldingay, Susan M. Carthew, Matthew Daniel

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Effective management of tree-hollow-dependent wildlife is enhanced by detailed knowledge of the trees used for shelter and breeding. We describe the characteristics of 52 den trees and hollows (cavities) used by the yellow-bellied glider (Petaurus australis) in the south-west of its geographic range. We compared the following attributes of den trees to reference trees: tree height, diameter at breast height, hollow entrance height, hollow entrance diameter, cavity diameter, cavity depth, cavity roof height and cavity wall thickness. Dens and reference trees showed a highly significant multivariate difference (P < 0.001), with these variables explaining 64% of the variance. Univariate analyses revealed that hollow entrance height was significantly different between den trees (9.0 ± 0.5 m) and reference trees (5.5 ± 0.3 m). While not significant, den trees tended to have narrower hollow entrances, deeper cavities and thinner walls than reference trees; cavities used by yellow-bellied gliders, on average, measured 36.8 cm deep and 18.0 cm in diameter, and had entrances 10.6 cm in diameter. These observations should assist forest management for this species.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)179-184
    Number of pages6
    JournalAustralian Journal of Zoology
    Issue number3
    Early online date14 Nov 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


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