What animal has four legs, a tail longer than its body, and can glide through the forest canopy? None other than the adorable greater glider! 

While perhaps not as internationally famed as its distant relative, the koala, the greater glider is certainly one of Australia’s most unique native animals. This remarkable marsupial uses a furry gliding membrane extending from its elbows to ankles to glide silently through the forest. With their lengthy tail serving as a rudder, greater gliders have all the aerodynamic tools needed to glide from branch to branch in search of the juiciest eucalypt leaves to eat. Greater gliders are nocturnal, meaning they’re most active at night. They have big, bright eyes that allow for excellent night vision and round, fluffy ears to help detect potential threats. Their thick, dense fur keeps them warm and protected, ranging in colour from nearly all white to brown to jet black. As Australia’s largest gliding mammal, they’re found in eucalypt forests on the east coast where they can find big hollow-bearing trees to nest in. Once found abundant throughout eucalypt forests in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, greater gliders were listed as Endangered in 2022. Over the past two decades, their populations have plummeted by up to 80% in some places due to habitat destruction from landclearing, logging and increasingly severe bushfires fuelled by changing climate. The disappearance of greater gliders from our forests highlights the urgent need for conservation measures to protect them and their forest homes.

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

Species Bio

Common Name Greater glider Scientific Name Petauroides volans (southern and central greater glider) Petauroides minor (northern greater glider) Indigenous Name pan’ka - Ugarapul (Qld) bank’kii or mulyir - Gubbi Gubbi (Qld) poong-goong or warnda (unknown) Stats Length: 35-45cm

Weight: 1-2kg

Distribution: Under Australia’s EPBC Act, there are two distinct species of greater glider listed, and all are found in eucalypt forests across Australia’s eastern coast. The northern greater glider lives in the warm eucalypt forests of Queensland, while the southern and central greater gliders are found throughout forests in New South Wales, Victoria and parts of South-East Queensland. Status Endangered (EPBC Act)

Why greater gliders matter

Beyond their adorable appearance and impressive acrobatic abilities, greater gliders play a crucial role as indicators of forest health. Typically found in tall, healthy forests, they help researchers gauge the overall well-being of the ecosystem. Sadly, with greater glider populations dwindling due to deforestation, climate change and human interference, it’s not just their survival at risk. Over 800 other forest-dependent animals share their habitat and face the same threats. WWF-Australia is leading research and advocacy efforts to protect greater gliders and restore their forest homes. By donating to our cause, your generosity will serve as a beacon of support for conservation and animal advocacy and help ensure greater gliders thrive in our forests for generations to come.

Learn more about greater gliders


A greater glider gliding © Ana Gracanin

Did you know greater gliders can cover 100 metres per glide?

They may be Australia’s largest gliding marsupial, but it’s important to remember greater gliders are only 35-45cm long — that’s just longer than a ruler! These remarkable animals can glide up to 100 metres in one jump, and for an animal so small, that’s more than 200 times the length of their body! Want to discover more fascinating greater glider facts? Check out this blog.

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What we’re doing to help greater gliders

Greater glider nest box installed in a tree
Greater glider nest box installed in a tree © WWF-Australia / Tim Clark

Nest boxes

The 2019-20 bushfires left critical areas of forest and greater glider habitat in ruins. It was clear that gliders needed our help to survive, so the team at WWF-Australia partnered with Australian National University and Greening Australia to design, test and install ‘goldilocks’ nest boxes. These specialised nest boxes provide a lifeline shelter to tree hollows while the forest is recovering. In 2022, more than 230 nest boxes were successfully installed in known greater glider habitats spanning NSW and Vic. Remarkably, within just a few months, greater gliders were already using the nest boxes, instilling hope for the future generation of gliders.

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Dr Kita Ashman among the destroyed greater glider habitat in Tallaganda State Forest


Vast areas of important glider habitat were destroyed in the 2019-2020 fires, but Tallaganda State Forest in NSW was largely spared, and parts of the state forest remained unburnt, providing critical refuge for wildlife. As a result, Tallaganda had been identified as crucial habitat for greater gliders, where some of the highest densities across their entire range had been recorded, making this state forest one of the last remaining strongholds for the species in NSW. In 2022, we installed hi-tech nest boxes into this stronghold, providing gliders with shelter while their forest homes recovered from the fires. However, in August 2023, WWF-Australia became aware of logging in Tallaganda State Forest, despite its critical importance to greater gliders and WWF-Australia’s post-fire recovery interventions within the state forest. With the help of our collaborators and supporters, we secured three back-to-back stop work orders, and have kept logging out of these areas since August 2023, but other sections of this untouched forest are still slated for logging. WWF-Australia is urging the federal government to commit to greater protections and close up loopholes that continue to destroy critical greater glider habitat.

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Aerial view tropical rainforest, forest tree texture and background.
© WWF-Australia / Kalyakan -

Towards Two Billion Trees

Part of our mission to Regenerate Nature includes our ambitious plan to save and grow two billion trees by 2030. Australia has the highest rate of deforestation in the developed world, and we cannot allow this rate of destruction to continue. We all need trees to survive, and we’re urging the Australian Government to take our nation from a deforestation hotspot to a leader in tree protection and restoration. Trees are our secret weapon against climate change and provide homes for our precious wildlife, including greater gliders. We’re working with our partners on-the-ground to find innovative solutions to ensure this iconic species remains in our forests for generations to come.

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Greater glider in a patch of old growth forest in Munruben, Logan City, south of Brisbane.
Greater glider poking its head out of a tree hollow in a patch of old growth forest in Munruben, Logan City, south of Brisbane © Josh Bowell

Regenerative Country

Regenerative Country is our program to protect and recover species and habitats. Our vision is to transform Australia from a deforestation to a reforestation nation. We will work with communities to protect and regenerate vital landscapes and species here and abroad. One of our key goals in this program is to protect culturally significant species, including the iconic greater glider.

Learn more about our strategy

What you can do to help greater gliders

  • Sign the petition calling on the Australian Government to strengthen our national nature laws and save wildlife like greater gliders.
  • Increase your impact and donate today. Your generosity will help tackle the threats greater gliders and other Australian wildlife face.