'There are confirmed records of five of the six Australian glider species becoming entangled in barbed wire. Only the Feathertail Glider is not known to have died from such an unfortunate fate. It is ironic that attempts to promote the restoration of degraded woodland vegetation by fencing it off from livestock grazing may inadvertently negatively impact on wildlife such as gliders' Gliders of Australia, A Natural History. David Lindenmayer 2002.

Barbed wire has been recognised as a significant problem for gliders by the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland through their Glider Network. and is listed as a threatening process in the recovery plans for the Yellow-bellied and Mahogany gliders.

The Mahogany Glider of far north Queensland is listed at both the federal and state levels as endangered. There have been 10 taken off fences in the last decade, 5 of which died, 2 released, 2 in captivity and 1 currently in care. Daryl Dickson's experience with these animals has shown if the damage is not too severe, the membrane will heal remarkably well without stitching. As with all other species, no one is aware of the real number entangled by fences.

Photo: Harry Kunz Greater Glider

Jenny Maclean writes "I have rescued hundreds of flying foxes off barbed wire fences, but was surprised recently to discover how difficult it was to untangle gliders - a Sugar Glider (see photos above) and a Greater Glider. They are much more difficult to hold securely, they squirm out your hold more easily and their longer hair presents problems. It is difficult to get a good hold and untangle them when they are usually entangled close to the body. This combination makes it very difficult to get them off an intact fence compared to a flying fox who is usually entangled on a bare wing at quite a distance from the body. The rescue of the Greater Glider necessitated cutting the fence, the first time I have ever had to do this."

Photo: Lousie Saunders Sugar Glider

Photo: Daryl Dickson Remains of a Mahogany Glider

Photo: Scott Fagg Glider being rescued.

Photo: Jenny Maclean Sugar Glider

Photo: Jenny Maclean Sugar Glider