Greater glider in tree in the moonlight © Jacob Crisp

Greater glider in tree in the moonlight © Jacob Crisp

6 Facts about the greater glider

02 Jun 2021

  • forests
  • threatened species
  • EDO

Help protect greater gliders and their habitat by becoming a defender of the Unburnt Six today!




Ever wanted to glide through the air? The wind in your hair, the moonlight guiding your way? Sounds like you want to be a greater glider, and we don’t blame you!


Found in the eucalyptus forests of eastern Australia and strictly nocturnal (unless startled or disturbed during the day), the greater glider is the largest gliding marsupial in the world and can range in colour from dark chocolate brown to almost entirely white.


There’s a lot to love about the greater glider, but here are 6 things you might not know about them.


1. Their babies love to hitch a ride.

For the first three to four months of their lives, the baby greater glider stays in their mother’s pouch. Then, after that, they ride on their mum’s back for up to three more months, eventually gaining independence at nine months old for another year and a half before having babies of their own.


2. They’re going places!

Greater glider (Petauroides volans) gliding in Logan, Queensland © Sami Raines


Greater gliders can glide up to 100 metres in a single glide and can change direction at 90-degree angles mid-flight. They steer by using their long tails and altering the curvature of their gliding membranes.


3. Their tail is longer than their body.

Some greater glider’s tails can be twice the length of their body. An adult greater glider can be anywhere between 30 cm from 45 cm long, with their tail extending another 45 cm to 60 cm.


4. They’re the strong silent type.

Greater glider in moonlight © David Gallan / WWF-Australia


Greater gliders are completely silent and have no distinctive calls and never chat with one another. The only sound they’ll make is a whoosh sound if they glide past you on a quiet night – which we think would sound pretty cool. Whoosh.


5. They’re resourceful.

Apart from using their patagia or gliding membranes to glide through the air, they also use them as a blanket to keep warm on cold nights. They wrap them around their bodies so they’re snug as a bug in a rug. The original Oodie.


6. They’re property tycoons!

Greater glider poking its head out of a tree hollow in a patch of old growth forest in Munruben, Logan City, south of Brisbane | © Josh Bowell


These little marsupials can maintain up to 20 treetrunk dens at any given time, gliding between each hollow. However, even though they have so many homes to choose from, this doesn’t mean their habitat isn’t at risk. With bushfires and land-clearing threatening their tiny homes, this little property investor needs our help and attention more than ever.


You can help protect greater gliders and their habitat by becoming a defender of the Unburnt Six.



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