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  1. 22 CHAPTER Sugar Gliders

  2. Introduction to Sugar Gliders • Small arboreal marsupials • Native to NE regions of Australia, Tasmania, Indonesia, New Guinea • Live in groups with 1 to 2 males, several females

  3. Omnivorous • Hunt insects, small spiders, worms, eggs of nesting birds • Feed on sap and gum from eucalyptus and acacia trees, nectar and pollen • Nocturnal • Life span of 5 to 8 years

  4. Physical Characteristics ofSugar Gliders • Total body length of 10 to 12” • 5 to 6” body length • 5 to 6” tail length • Weight of 3 to 5 ounces • Males slightly larger than females

  5. Triangular head with short muzzle, rounded nose, large eyes • Soft, gray fur with cream undersides • Thin, furred membrane from wrists to ankles • Abdominal pouch on females • Video

  6. Principles of Sugar Glider Selection • Check laws and renting guidelines • Plan on multiples as animals are social • Opt for local sources • Choose recently weaned young • Check for signs of health and vitality

  7. Desirables of Sugar Glider Housing • Minimum size: 20” x 20” x 30” • Large enough to allow exploration and movement (climbing, gliding) • Large bird cages or aviaries may work • Wire-mesh openings max of 1” square • Large door • Plastic or litter box for waste below

  8. Branches/limbs for exercise/aesthetics • Nest box • Safe bedding (shredded paper, hardwood shavings) • Cloth pouch • Heavy, sturdy food bowl

  9. Feeding Methods for Sugar Gliders • Basis of diet • Should be 75% fresh fruits/vegetables/grains and 25% protein (meats, eggs, insects) • Include commercial diets • Light treats of crickets, grasshoppers, meal worms, wax worms • Plentiful clean, fresh water • Make food available at dark

  10. Sugar Glider Reproduction • Sexual maturity at ~8 months • Sexual differentiators • Females: Abdominal pouch • Males: Scent gland on head • Pair or colonymating

  11. Gestation period of ~16 days • Usually 1 to 2 young per litter • Young crawl to mother’s pouch and remain for ~60 to 70 days • 1 day old • After pouch exit, cling to one of parents’ backs • Baby

  12. Broken bones Dehydration Bacterial infections Behavior disorders Anxiety Over- or undereating Cannibalism Priapism Aflatoxicosis Constipation Leptospirosis Actinomycosis Hypocalcemia Obesity Sugar Glider Diseases and Ailments