Author

Coleen Poje

Date of Award

Spring 5-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Environmental and Forest Biology

Thesis Advisor

William M. Shields

Keywords

Yellow-bellied gliders, Petaurus australis, calling behavior, vocalizations

Abstract

Vocalizations are a common form of inter- and intraspecies communication for mammals. Yellow-bellied Gliders, Petaurus australis, are the most vocal of the Australian Gliders emitting low frequency calls at high intensities. I explored the frequency of calls in relation to season, temperature and humidity, as well as the behavioral context in which the calls were emitted. Along with my field crew, I observed current feed and den trees for gliders during their most active time, dusk. Observations were performed over the course of two years during the wet and dry seasons, for a total of four observation seasons. I found a significantly higher mean call frequency during the dry season than the wet season. I determined that temperature has no apparent relationship to call frequency; however, humidity is positively correlated with call frequency. One call type was distinguished during this study, the full call. It was determined to be used for a number of purposes by the gliders, including cohesive group traveling and to defend food resources of a home range from gliders of other species. This study suggests that with an understanding of glider vocalizations, they can be used as a time and energy efficient method to monitor and survey populations.

Included in

Ornithology Commons

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