Golfers in Cardwell are sporting alongside an endangered population of ‘slender rope dancers’. Mahogany Gliders share their home with visiting and local sportsmen and women alike in this unique arrangement where they literally ‘forage in the rough’.
A recent unveiling of four interpretive signs at the golf course welcomed Traditional Owners, Government and community groups on the green at the Cardwell Golf Club. With a recurring message ‘every tree matters to me’, the signs were developed to inform and educate the local community and tourists about the presence of mahogany gliders in the area.
Endangered mahogany gliders were discovered and reported on the Cardwell golf course during clean-up operations that were carried out by Terrain clean-up crews in the aftermath of Cyclone Yasi.
Whilst the area was mapped as mahogany glider habitat, no actual records previously existed for the mahogany glider on Cardwell Golf Club land.
Member of Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland (WPSQ) and local artist Daryl Dickson, who is responsible for creating the artwork on the new signs, said the signs will inform people that the golf course is a brilliant fairway by day and ‘glide way’ by night for one of Australia’s most endangered animals.
“The Cardwell golf course is a great example of a shared space. It doesn’t have to be wildlife habitat for animals or land for people, it can be both. For decades the Cardwell golf course has been shared by both,” said Ms Dickson.
“It is wonderful to see the management team of Cardwell Golf Club taking on custodianship of the mahogany glider and now seeing it as an important icon for the club,” said Ms Dickson.
Terrain’s Environmental Recovery Officer Tania Simmons said the golf course also now has mature grass trees which were rescued and replanted at the golf course as part of the mahogany glider food plant enhancement program.
“They are flowering after only six months. This is a bonus, that after such a short time we have an attractive food source for gliders and other native animals. They look pretty too,” said Ms Simmons.
The four signs were developed in partnership between WPSQ, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS), Girringun Aboriginal Corporation, Terrain NRM and the Cardwell Golf Club.
Ms Simmons said this particular partnership will continue into the future, as the groups continue to work with the Club to protect and enhance the mahogany glider habitat and promote the presence of this very special and endangered creature in the area.