Comparison of home range size, habitat use and the influence of resource variations between two species of greater gliders (Petauroides minor and Petauroides volans)

McGregor, Denise, Nordberg, Eric, Yoon, Hwan Jin, Youngentob, Kara, Schwarzkopf, Lin, and Krockenberger, Andrew (2023) Comparison of home range size, habitat use and the influence of resource variations between two species of greater gliders (Petauroides minor and Petauroides volans). PLoS ONE, 18 (10). e0286813.

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Knowledge of the spatial requirements of a species is fundamental to understanding its environmental requirements. However, this can be challenging as the size of a species’ home range can be influenced by ecological factors such as diet and size-dependent metabolic demands, as well as factors related to the quality of their habitat such as the density and distribution of resources needed for food and shelter. Until recently, the genus Petauroides was thought to include only a single species with a widespread distribution across eastern Australia. However, a recent study has provided genetic and morphological evidence supporting Petauroides minor as a distinct northern species. Previous studies have focused on the ecology of P. volans, but there has been inadequate research on P. minor. Data on home range and habitat use were obtained for both species using a combination of techniques including GPS collar locations, radiotelemetry, and spotlighting and comparisons were made using consistent methodology. Home range sizes of P. minor (4.79 ha ± 0.97 s.d., KUD .95) were significantly larger than those of P. volans (2.0 ha ± 0.42 s.d., KUD .95). There were no significant differences between male and female home range sizes in either species. Both species showed site-specific preferences for tree species and for larger diameter trees for both forage and shelter. Tree size and biomass/ha were significantly greater in the P. volans study sites than the P. minor study sites and there was a negative correlation between home range size and eucalypt biomass. Larger home range size is likely driven by the substantial differences in biomass between northern (tropical) and southern (temperate) eucalypt-dominated habitats affecting the quality and quantity of resources for food and shelter. Understanding landscape use and habitat requirements within each species of Petauroides can provide important information regarding limiting factors and in directing conservation and management planning.

Item ID: 80836
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Copyright Information: © 2023 McGregor et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
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Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2024 06:36
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310308 Terrestrial ecology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180606 Terrestrial biodiversity @ 100%
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