Wheat

Tale of squirrel glider's search for a home highlights importance of tree hollows

Friday 7 February, 2014
A children’s picture book has been produced by the region’s 2013 Fairley Leadership Program cohort to celebrate the unique fauna found along the Goulburn River.

A children’s picture book has been produced by the region’s 2013 Fairley Leadership Program cohort to celebrate the unique fauna found along the Goulburn River.


The book Sammi the Squirrel Glider and the Fairley Tree tells the story of Sammi’s quest for the “perfect home” in one of the hollows in a big old red gum by the Goulburn River.


Fairley Fellow, artist and Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority (CMA) ecologist Dr Jenny Wilson, who did the illustrations for the book, said the cohort had received a $6000 grant from The Hugh Williamson Foundation, a philanthropic foundation that is working with community leadership programs and the Bug BlitzTM Program to raise awareness of biodiversity in the community, particularly among young people.


“We (the 2013 Fairley Leadership Cohort) thought an illustrated children’s book would be a great way to highlight, in a fun and informative way, how important tree hollows are to the region’s native wildlife,” Dr Wilson said.


As well as Sammi, Locky the Cocky, Bonny the Brush-tailed Phascogale, Fred the Feather-tail Glider, Gayle the Galah and Wendy the Wood-duck feature in the book. Full-page illustrations accompany the simple rhyming text, which is aimed at early readers.


“Squirrel gliders are an endangered species,” Dr Wilson said.


“This is largely because many of the old trees that contain the hollows squirrel gliders need to shelter, feed and breed have been cleared for timber, firewood, agriculture and human settlement.


“Recognising the importance of tree hollows to squirrel gliders - and many other creatures - is one way of raising awareness of why we’re so keen to ensure old trees are protected on private and public land.”


A copy of Sammi the Squirrel Glider and the Fairley Tree is being sent to all primary school and public libraries in the region.


Sales from the book have supported a participant from the environment or arts sectors to participate in the 2014 Fairley Leadership Program.


The book is also for sale for $10 and can be purchased from the Fairly Leadership Program; phone 5831 8420 or email info@fairleyleadership.com.  For more information on Goulburn Broken CMA programs and incentives to protect remnant vegetation, phone 5820 1100.

 Molly, 5, and Ella, 3, McLennan love the rhymes and pictures featured in children’s book Sammi the Squirrel Glider and the Fairley Tree.

Molly, 5, and Ella, 3, McLennan love the rhymes and pictures featured in children’s book Sammi the Squirrel Glider and the Fairley Tree.