News & Events

A bit of possum magic at Leith Park

April 8, 2020

It is all eyes up at Leith Park these days thanks to the installation of five sugar glider nesting boxes throughout the village.

The sugar glider boxes have been provided through the Banyule Sugar Glider Project which was a successful winner of the Pick My Project last year.

Damian Pennington, OCAV’s Property Manager, and Jarred Bishop, Leith Park gardener said they were thrilled that Leith Park was part of the project.

“We have the most wonderful gardens and established native trees throughout the village, providing the perfect nesting space for sugar gliders,” Jarred said.

Around 300 boxes have been installed throughout St Helena, Lower Plenty, Montmorency and Briars Hill. The suburbs are protected by the Vegetation Protection Overlay, and contribute to Banyule’s wildlife corridors which are under threat by urban development.

“Leith Park has an active gardening group and there are many residents who are very involved in the environment and nature activities in and around the neighbourhood. Being a part of the project seemed a natural fit,” Damian said.

Damian and Jarred are hoping that gliders in Leith Park do begin using the nesting boxes as it will indicate the wildlife corridors are still operating.

Sugar Gliders are small tree-loving nocturnal marsupial mammals. The Australian possum gets its name from the fact that it likes eating the sugary nectar of plants and glides from tree to tree. The sugar glider is very similar in appearance to a flying squirrel but it is in no way related.

The sugar glider has soft thick silver-grey fur on its upper body. The fur on the underside of its body is cream in colour. It is about 200-300mm long, including its tail. The male is larger than the female and weighs about 140 gm. The female weighs about 110gms. The sugar glider has large eyes that give it excellent night vision and allows it the avoid obstacles when gliding at night.

Keith White, who had heart surgery two years ago, reckons he’s better now than he has ever been. He puts his state of health and well-being down to the life he has found at Currie Park, OCAV’s village in Euroa.

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