Citizen spotters track Top End gliders

21-Apr-2017

Crowdfunders have helped Charles Darwin University researchers to get closer to discovering whether the savanna glider is a new species of gliding marsupial

Crowdfunders have helped Charles Darwin University researchers to get closer to discovering whether the savanna glider is a new species of gliding marsupial


Charles Darwin University researchers have taken a group of curious Territorians on a spotlighting tour to find one of the Top End’s most mysterious mammals.

Participants went on an intimate trip to find Northern Savanna Gliders at WWII 16 Mile Camp in Darwin, as a reward for their generous support of the researchers’ crowdfunding campaign.

CDU Provost Professor Sue Carthew said the campaign raised more than $15,000 to help the team understand the species and view samples of the original glider specimens at the British Natural History Museum in London.

Professor Carthew said the first specimen was collected from Northern Australia in 1842 and would help the team confirm the savanna glider as a new species of gliding marsupial.

“Territorians have a strong affinity with the diverse wildlife that live in our backyards and the region more broadly,” she said.

“Some of our native species are found exclusively in the Top End, which is why it is so important to ensure that their local population numbers are understood and protected.”

The team from the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods includes Research Associate Dr Teigan Cremona and PhD candidate Alyson Stobo-Wilson. Together they have established a range of glider monitoring sites around Darwin, and at Palmerston, Bladin Point, Kakadu National Park and the Katherine region.