9 Sept 2022


BREAKING NEWS October 2023: Logging has been temporarily suspended in Tallaganda State Forest after an Endangered greater glider was found deceased just 50 metres from the logging site. 

We only have a small window to secure permanent protection for this area - one of the last places of refuge for greater gliders. Take action now - sign the petition or donate.

Ever wanted to glide through the air? The wind in your hair, the moonlight guiding your way? Sounds like you want to be a greater glider, and we don’t blame you!

Found in the eucalyptus forests of eastern Australia and strictly nocturnal (unless startled or disturbed during the day), the greater glider is the largest gliding marsupial in the world and can range in colour from dark chocolate brown to almost entirely white. 

There’s a lot to love about the greater glider, but here are seven things you might not know about them.

1. Their babies love to hitch a ride.

For the first three to four months of their lives, the baby greater glider stays in their mother’s pouch. Then, after that, they ride on their mum’s back for up to three more months, eventually gaining independence at nine months old. It’s then another year and a half before they have babies of their own.

2. They’re going places!

Greater glider (Petauroides volans) gliding in Logan= Queensland
© Sami Raines

Greater gliders can glide up to 100 metres in a single glide and can change direction at 90 degree angles mid-flight. They steer by using their long tails and altering the curvature of their gliding membranes.

3. Their tail is longer than their body.

Some greater gliders’ tails can be twice the length of their body. An adult greater glider can be anywhere between 30cm from 45cm long, with its tail extending another 45cm to 60cm.

4. They’re the strong silent type.

Greater glider in moonlight
© David Gallan / WWF-Australia

Greater gliders are completely silent and have no distinctive calls, and never chat with one another. The only sound they’ll make is a whoosh sound if they glide past you on a quiet night – which we think would sound pretty cool. Whoosh.

5. They’re resourceful.

Apart from using their patagia (or gliding membranes) to glide through the air, they also use them as a blanket to keep warm on cold nights. They wrap them around their bodies so they’re snug as a bug in a rug. The original Oodie.

6. They’re property tycoons!

Greater glider in a patch of old-growth forest in Munruben, Logan City, south of Brisbane
Greater glider in a patch of old-growth forest in Munruben, Logan City, south of Brisbane © Josh Bowell

These little marsupials can maintain up to 20 tree trunk dens at any given time, gliding between each hollow. However, even though they like to have so many homes to choose from, this doesn’t mean they have a lot of choices. With bushfires and habitat destruction threatening their homes, this little property investor needs our help and attention more than ever.

7. Sadly, greater gliders are endangered.

Greater gliders were once common throughout the forests of Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, but deforestation and climate change induced events threaten their survival. Their recent uplisting to Endangered means we need to take action now to save and protect this iconic species.

For the first time in 20 years, Australia’s nature laws are being rewritten. This is a pivotal opportunity to put pressure on the government to introduce strong laws that protect wildlife, including the greater glider. You can help turn the extinction crisis around by adding your voice!

Here are other ways you can make a difference for greater gliders: