Possums and gliders

Perhaps the most common of Australia’s city living mammals are possums and gliders such as the Brushtail Possum, Ringtail Possum and several species of small gliders.

Possums and gliders are important pollinators of native trees such as Eucalyptus and Banksias.

Activity:
Create a glider grove

Install glider nesting boxes 3-5m above the ground on the trunks of tall trees to provide shelter. Gliders travel through the canopy so ensure your grove is within 10m of other established trees. You can also plant a range of native trees for gliders to feed on such as wattles, banksias and gum trees. Make sure cats are kept inside.

Bats

Another common group of mammals is bats, which come in two forms: tiny microbats (small enough to fit in your hand) and large flying foxes the size of puppies with wings! Microbats mainly devour flying nocturnal insects, including lots of mosquitoes! Flying foxes not only pollinate native trees, but also spread seeds in their droppings, spreading trees wherever they go.

Some of these species, such as Grey-headed Flying Foxes, are endangered and desperately need more habitat.

Activity:
Prepare a fruit bat buffet

Help welcome fruit bats to your backyard by laying them a tasty native feast. Lillipillies, figs, banksias and gum trees all make great options. If netting your fruit, choose nets with very small holes; if you can poke your finger through it, a bat could be trapped in it. Be aware that cats can hunt fruit bats, and barking dogs may discourage them.

Small mammals

Australia also boasts a rarely seen, though species-rich, range of small mammals including the marsupial mice (such as antechinuses and dunnarts), phascogales, native rodents and bandicoots. These species play a wide range of roles in our ecosystems including spreading native fungi and plants, as eating insects, and as prey for birds such as owls. Cats and foxes have hunted them out of most suburbs. Those with acres in the countryside have the best chance of welcoming and supporting these native neighbours.

Common Dunnart