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600,000 trees for the possums

The greater glider or clumsy possum

More than 600,000 trees will be planted in Victoria’s Gippsland Ranges in an effort to expand the habitat of the threatened greater glider possum. Source: The Australian

Over the next three years, environmental organisation Greening Australia will plant over 635,000 trees across 127 hectares of private land at Gippsland’s Strzelecki Ranges for the fluffy-eared marsupial.

“It’s exciting to think that our project will provide habitat for these gliders and their young, helping to secure this population into the future,” project officer Drew Liepa said.

The work is being complemented by the installation of nest boxes, placed high up in existing trees by experienced tree climbers.

Fifty nest boxes will be installed on the fringes of known glider populations in September.

The project is funded through the federal government’s 20 Million Trees program.

“If we are all committed – the community, the government, everyone – we can ensure that we can improve their chances,” Mr Liepa said.

“I want to do this so that in the next twenty years I can say, yes, we’ve made a difference.”

The greater glider is listed as a vulnerable species, threatened by logging in the area.

A community group recently took action against state-owned timber company, VicForests, in the Federal Court in a bid to protect the glider, as well as the critically-endangered leadbeater’s possum.

Both sides were invited to make further submissions to the court in March.