Yellow-bellied Gliders take refuge in proposed Headwaters Nature Reserve

Yellow-bellied Gliders found in the Kalang headwaters.

 

A POPULATION of Yellow-bellied Gliders has been discovered in a patch of unburnt forest at the top of the Kalang Headwaters.

Verified by local ecologists, community members and citizen scientists, the endangered marsupials have taken up refuge in an unburnt area of Oakes State Forest.

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However, the refuge is in a proposed logging compartment.

Much of the surrounding forest was burnt in last year’s Andersons’ Creek fire, and the remaining forests now support a globally significant biodiversity since many habitats were destroyed.

Because the Yellow-bellied Glider has recently declined and become locally extinct across much of its range in Northern NSW, there is an urgent need to protect and conserve all remaining populations.

The Kalang Headwaters cover the entire upper catchment of the Kalang River, the southern branch of the Bellinger catchment.

These forests are habitat for globally significant ancient Gondwanan biodiversity, store massive volumes of carbon, keep the Kalang River flowing and suppress high intensity wildfire.

As such they have been proposed for permanent protection as part of both the Headwaters Nature Reserve and the Great Koala National Park.

“The Headwaters Nature Reserve will protect the headwaters of the Bellinger, Nambucca and Kalang Rivers from logging and will ensure a future for the remarkable Yellow-bellied Glider and a myriad of other ancient and threatened species,” said Jonas Bellchambers from the Bellingen Environment Centre.

“We call on the Environment Minister Matt Kean to urgently conserve these ancient and globally significant forests for Yellow-bellied Gliders, koalas, carbon storage and to make sure our rivers flow abundantly and clear into the future,” said Jonas.

The Yellow-bellied Glider is now on the shortlist to be upgraded to endangered status in the EPBC act.

Vulnerable and rapidly declining, Petaurus australis requires habitat with abundant hollows, a reliable year-round supply of nectar, pollen, invertebrates and sugary exudates including honeydew, manna and lerp, within forests composed of eucalypts and their close relatives, including bloodwood, such as they have found at the top of Kalang Headwaters.

Contact Matt Kean MP at: [email protected].

 

By Andrea FERRARI

 

Looking north east down the Kalang valley towards Bellingen where the Yellow-bellied Gliders have taken refuge.

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