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Gliders need mature forests with lots of tree hollows to nest in. There are 27 different types of possums and gliders in Australia. Squirrel Gliders, Petaurus norfolcensis, are often mistaken for the more common Sugar Glider, Petaurus breviceps. As possums and gliders are marsupials, it is important that deceased females are always checked for live pouch young. The possum has smooth and silky fur, which is used to make cushions, blankets, sofa throws, and clothing in New Zealand where they are considered a pest.


The possum belongs to the mammalian order known as Didelphimorphia. One quarter of our possums and gliders are listed as threatened under Australian environmental law. Queensland possums tend to be smaller than their southern counterparts. Sugar Gliders are omnivorous nocturnal gliding possums from Australia and surrounding islands. Australia is known for its numerous species of possum.

We’ve compiled a profile on every species here.

They have a huge variety of sizes, shapes and appearances. The sugar glider is one of a number of volplane (gliding) possums in Australia. Squirrel Gliders are small possums that have distinctive membranes of skin, stretching between their front and hind legs, that enable them to glide with ease through the air. Gliders glide with the fore- and hind-limbs extended at right angles to their body, with their feet flexed upwards. Gliding possums are marsupials sometimes referred to as flying phalangers, or simply as gliders.

In size, they range from the 7cm long in the body feathertail gliders, to the almost cat-sized greater gliders.

The animal launches itself from a tree, spreading its limbs to expose the gliding membranes.
There is considerable colour variation both between, and in some cases, such as the greater glider, within species. Sugar Glider Australia's sugar gliders can "fly" about 165 feet. It is said that possum fur is warmer than wool. They got their name from their habits: first, they love to eat crystallized sap of the trees in their native environment, and second, they have a membrane of skin between their front and hind legs which acts as a "foldable wing," allowing them to glide through the air from tree to tree.

Ringtail possums share some features with the large Greater Glider, which occupies the family Pseudocheiridae with them. The greatest threat to gliders comes from the destruction and alteration of the forest habitats in which they live. Sugar gliders are palm-size possums that can glide half the length of a soccer pitch in one trip. Possums are a suborder of 70 tree-living marsupial species native to Australia and the Indonesian islands of New Guinea and Sulawesi.