Glide into Strathallan says group

By Campaspe News

THE Echuca Kanyapella Landcare Group is encouraging people in the twin towns to make a trip to visit the Strathallan Glider Sanctuary after a recent tour there.

‘‘What an amazing place this is, just sitting there tucked away in a bush oasis just off the Northern Highway,’’ the group’s Merrilyn Cardwell said.

‘‘It’s truly a very special treat for both locals and visitors to our area.’’

Upon their visit, Strathallan Landcare Group president Veronica Groat and husband John explained to group members how they have successfully developed the captive breeding program for the endangered native squirrel gliders.

‘‘After this these little nocturnal animals appeared for their evening feed – which had been all carefully and freshly prepared and only to then be devoured voraciously by the tiny little gliders,’’ Merrilyn said.

‘‘These remarkable marsupials can glide incredible distances for their size — up to 30-40m from tree to tree through the canopies.

‘‘They set off with their hind legs driving them as they leap from tree to tree, then spreading membranes, which extend on each side of the body from the fifth finger to the first toe of the foot used for steering and maintaining their stability by varying the curvature of the left or right membrane and when it is about 3m from target tree, it brings its hind legs in towards the body and with an upward swoop lands with four feet on the tree bark.’’

These delightful little animals are rapidly gaining popularity since being featured on the Rochester silo and can be viewed by appointment by phoning 54849293 or 044789293.

‘‘Domestic and feral cats unfortunately account for the demise of very high numbers of these animals so if you do own a cat, please ensure it is inside at night and has a collar on with more than three bells,’’ Merrilyn said.