The Biology of Australian Possums and Gliders
The possums and gliding possums comprise one of the most significant elements of the Australian environment. They occur throughout the Australian continent but are particularly widespread and abundant in the forests of eastern Australia. As a consequence, they have had lead roles in the long-term conflict
over forest management. Many species have been severely affected by habitat fragmentation and several species have been identified as key indicators of predicted climate change.
Morphologically and ecologically, possums and gliders are spectacular and intriguing. One is the only true marsupial hibernator, another is the most vocal of any marsupial, and several have a membrane between their limbs that enables gliding flight between trees. They range in size from the diminutive
7 g little pygmy-possum to the hefty 5 kg spotted cuscus.
This book provides a substantial insight into the lives of Australian possums and gliders. From a consideration of their evolution, diets, and physiology, to assessing their population response to habitat structure and habitat fragmentation. The conservation status of all living Australian species is reviewed,
and various environmental management strategies needed to provide population recovery are identified.
The 46 chapters of this book collectively provide a definitive account of the scientific information that has accumulated on Australian possums and gliders over many decades.
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