Behavior of Sugar Gliders

Sugar Glider Joey

Sugar gliders are cute small marsupials that may be found in Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia. They are, nonetheless, highly popular pets in households all around the world. They have special nutritional needs, but they can be a lot of fun to look after if you understand their behavior.

Sugar Gliders in the Wild

Gliders in the wild live in groups of up to seven adults (including any recently born babies) and are extremely gregarious. They live in trees, groom each other (which involves more than simply keeping each other clean), and defend their territory, which may span over two acres of ground and trees. The dominant male uses his saliva and (on his chest and forehead) to label the rest of his group, and can smell the members of his colony and recognize them.

Understanding Captive Sugar Gliders

You'll be able to appreciate what your pet sugar glider accomplishes in captivity after you grasp what a wild sugar glider does (and why he does it). If you have a lone glider as a pet, you should be aware that he loves companionship and that if you are unable to be his social partner and devote the majority of your time to him, he may become anxious. If you have an intact male that is not neutered, you may see greater territorial behavior since his instincts tell him that anything that doesn't smell like him is a threat to his area or colony. Overall, captive gliders are not housed in the same way as wild gliders are, so we must either alter our care to provide a more natural setting for them or, at the very least, recognize that certain of their behaviors are normal for the species (e.g., being nocturnal, scent-marking, crabbing when scared, etc.).

Normal Sugar Glider Behavior

Sugar gliders are very sociable creatures who, when handled frequently, may be exceedingly friendly to people (especially as a young joey). Gliders will bond with you if you keep them alone and spend enough time with them on a regular basis, or they will bond with their sugar glider partner if you let them to have a companion (or friends).

Gliders produce crabbing sounds when they are terrified, agitated, or threatened. It is frequently heard when you disturb a sleeping glider, try to pick up a startled glider, or take your sugar glider to the vet if he is unfamiliar with the surroundings.

It is common for males to scent mark their items as well as their social group or partner. Your glider may leave a mark on you by rubbing against you or dripping urine on you. Having your male neutered might help to reduce the stench and behavior.

Because sugar gliders are nocturnal, they are rarely seen during the day. This doesn't mean you can't bond with your glider while you're awake and he's sleeping, but if you try to rouse him up to play with him, he can get irritated. During the day, most glider owners wear a cloth or fleece pouch around their neck and beneath their shirt. This keeps their sugar gliders close to them, allowing your scent to become known to them. This is especially true for happy and new gliders who are unfamiliar with you and have not yet formed a relationship with you.

Sugar gliders eat in the evenings since they sleep during the day. This may mean you won't be able to have mealtimes with your pet, and you'll have to make sure their food is fresh before you go to bed, rather than when you eat breakfast.

Sugar gliders are arboreal, meaning they like to climb and jump from one location to another. They don't want to be on the ground running about. They feel comfortable up high, so they'll creep up your arm, hide at the nape of your neck, or perch on the top of your head (hopefully without peeing marking you). Encourage this typical behavior for their physical and emotional wellbeing, but only in safe situations.

Your sugar glider may be a wonderful addition to your family if you provide a natural, safe habitat, an adequate diet, and frequent enrichment, attention, and cerebral stimulation. You only need to take the time to get to know each other.