Greater glider (Petauroides volans) live capture methods

Publication Name

Australian Mammalogy


The greater glider (Petauroides volans) is a difficult species to study because they are arboreal, spending the majority of their time in the canopy. Here we review methods used to capture greater gliders and describe methods that are more effective in capturing greater gliders while decreasing risks to animal welfare. The routine uses (1) detection surveys (three methods trialled) to identify hollows occupied by greater gliders, and (2) tree climbing of identified den trees by a qualified tree climber who extracts the greater glider by hand from the hollow if it is shallow enough or waits up to 60 min for the animal to emerge and then catches it by hand. Detection of gliders residing inside a hollow was most efficient by tracking gliders 2 h before dawn, when compared to stationary stag watching and spotlighting along short transects at last light. Once located, success rate for capturing greater gliders from a den by tree climbing and hand capture was 76% (22/29 attempted captures) compared to zero captures from a long-pole-and-net method. Detailed guidelines on the climb and catch method are provided.

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