Squirrel glider home ranges near urban edges in eastern Australia

Brearley, G., McAlpine, C., Bell, S. and Bradley, A. (2011) Squirrel glider home ranges near urban edges in eastern Australia. Journal of Zoology, 285 4: 256-265. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2011.00837.x

Author Brearley, G.
McAlpine, C.
Bell, S.
Bradley, A.
Title Squirrel glider home ranges near urban edges in eastern Australia
Journal name Journal of Zoology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0952-8369
Publication date 2011-12
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1469-7998.2011.00837.x
Volume 285
Issue 4
Start page 256
End page 265
Total pages 10
Place of publication Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Abstract Conservation biology and landscape ecology are increasingly concerned with the effects of urbanization on wildlife, including the influences of habitat edges. This is particularly important in landscapes where a restriction on species home-range movements may reduce an animal's ability to access habitat resources, which ultimately reduces population viability. Despite this, there is limited information available on the movement behavior of wildlife at forest edges adjoining urban areas. We addressed this by radiotracking 30 squirrel gliders Petaurus norfolcensis in forest interiors and near road and residential edges in the fragmented urban landscape of south-east Queensland, Australia. An assessment of fixed-kernel (FK100% and FK50%) and minimum convex polygon (MCP100%) methods revealed that FK provided the most reliable home-range estimates. We applied a general linear model to test the influence of season, age and sex relative to habitat type (forest interiors, road edge, residential edge) on squirrel glider home-range size (FK95% & FK50%). We found that squirrel gliders living in interior habitats had significantly larger home ranges (7.07 ha±0.43) than individuals living near roads (3.79 ha±0.22) and residential areas (3.40 ha±0.26). Similarly, home-range core areas (FK50%) were significantly larger in forest interiors (1.49±0.13 ha) than near road (0.78±0.07 ha) and residential edges (0.70±0.08 ha). We also found that squirrel gliders regularly cross narrow roads up to 20 m wide and with a tree gap up to 15 m to access adjacent vegetation, and are willing to utilize foraging resources in residential backyards. Changes in squirrel glider home ranges near edges identified in this study have implications for understanding how this species responds to urban edges, and we highlight important areas for future edge-related studies to correctly inform conservation and management.
Keyword Arboreal mammals
Squirrel glider
Forest fragmentation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

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