Huge Breeding Success for World’s Smallest Glider

Huge Breeding Success for World’s Smallest Glider

Taronga Keepers have welcomed at least five tiny Feathertail Glider joeys to the energetic group in a rare breeding success.

Keepers have spotted two joeys nearly ready to leave the nest boxes and three more that are still furless, blind and suckling with their mothers.

Australian Fauna Keeper, Rob Dockerill, said: “We were the first Zoo to ever breed these tiny marsupials so it’s always exciting when we see joeys start to emerge.

“When they’re born they’re only the size of half a grain of rice. They then spend about 63 days in the pouch emerging furless and blind. The mothers only weigh 15 grams, so by the time the joeys reach nestling size mum’s feet wouldn’t touch the ground.”

“The young are kept in communal nests and the females of the group take turns looking after them.”

The older joeys are now about 14 weeks old and will soon be out of the nests and scurrying around their home in the Australian Nightlife Exhibit with about 30 other Feathertail Gliders.

“We’ve found that having a large group of gliders helps them breed. Since we started breeding them in 1988 we’ve seen up to 200 joeys emerge, in that same time only a handful of other gliders have been bred in other Zoos.”

Despite their previous celebrity status as they once featured on the Australian 1 cent coin, not a lot is known about these tiny animals in the wild.

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