By Dillon Shelley
BRIMMING with natural marvels, Shepparton stands proudly as a sanctuary for unique marsupials. Central to our rich local fauna are three distinctive and captivating glider species, each with an enthralling narrative enriching our shared ecological tapestry.
The Squirrel Glider, of medium size amongst gliders, is the largest of its kind found in our region. Characterised by grey fur with a white belly and bushy tail, they mostly stay active from dusk to dawn, enthralling any lucky spectators with their ground to tree canopy movements covering up to 100 meters.
Coming up next is the beloved Sugar Glider, compact yet full of charm. Its agile acrobatics between treetops add an endearing charm to Shepparton’s night sky, making its presence a delightful aspect of our shared local habitat. Its role in seed dispersal underlines its surprising significance in our ecosystem.
Finally, comes the real gem, the Feathertail Glider, the world’s smallest gliding mammal. This unique creature is surprising in so many ways, weighing merely 10-14 grams and yet having the ability to glide up to 25 meters with its feather-like tail. It makes Shepparton’s night-time landscape a real spectacle for those who ever get the chance to see one.
Shepparton’s gliders, despite hardships of habitat loss and climate change, endure admirably. Their survival underscores a stirring resilience and adaptability tale. As Shepparton residents, it’s our duty to safeguard their habitats, ensuring these unique creatures continue to adorn our enchanting night skies and enrich our local biodiversity.