Red Hill pupils leave their mark on important glider pole project

Red Hill Public School pupils brought their artistic flair to the Birramal Conservation Area.

Endangered squirrel gliders will soar higher and more safely – and now on colourfully decorated glider poles – at Wagga’s Birramal Conservation Area.

About 60 pupils from Wagga’s Red Hill Public School were recently invited to help Wagga Wagga City Council decorate the poles with native animal stencils and hand prints.

Council’s important Glider Pole Project has seen 27 donated power poles installed through the conservation area to allow local fauna to move more securely while they search for food, habitat or a mate.

The strategically-placed poles provide a safe corridor for the animals to move across areas where native vegetation or trees are sparse.

The 127-hectare site between Lloyd and Glenoak is home to Box Gum Woodland, a vegetation type that is listed as critically endangered under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.

Many of the threatened and endangered animals in the Local Government Area rely on this vegetation community to survive.

Squirrel gliders, a nocturnal marsupial, are particularly reliant on woodland areas featuring eucalypts.

The nocturnal marsupial is capable of gliding 30 to 40 metres between trees, however gaps of more than 50 metres can leave the animals vulnerable to predators.

The poles, donated by Transgrid, are helping to bridge the gaps, while also providing nest boxes positioned away from roadsides.

FAST FACTS

* The Squirrel Glider is much larger, and less common, than the Sugar Glider.

* Adults are around 18 to 23cm in length, weighing between 190 and 300 grams.

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