How effective is spotlighting for detecting the greater glider (Petauroides volans)?

D. B. Lindenmayer*, R. B. Cunningham, C. F. Donnelly, R. D. Incoll, M. L. Pope, C. R. Tribolet, K. L. Viggers, A. H. Welsh

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    The efficacy of spotlighting as a field survey technique for detecting the greater glider (Petauroides volans) was assessed by comparing the precise location of radio-tracked animals with locations determined simultaneously from spotlighting searches. Radio-collars were fitted to 20 greater gliders in three eucalypt patches embedded within an extensive radiata pine (Pinus radiata) plantation near Tumut in south-eastern New South Wales. Our success rate for detecting collared animals was low, even when survey effort was increased. These findings suggest that spotlighting underestimates actual population size. A further, properly designed study, in different forest types is needed to provide precise estimates of the magnitude of the bias in counts of P. volans obtained by spotlighting.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)105-109
    Number of pages5
    JournalWildlife Research
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2001


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