Sugar Glider Lifespan: Fascinating Facts You Should Know | Kidadl


Sugar Glider Lifespan: Fascinating Facts You Should Know

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People love to have a unique pet in their home.

That is why sugar gliders are a popular pet choice. These cute little marsupials will capture the hearts of anyone they meet.

Scientifically known as Petaurus breviceps, sugar gliders are a great pet choice for many. Like kangaroos, female gliders have a pouch located on their belly. The purpose of this pouch is to raise and carry their young. Apart from the pouch, they have a fold in the skin that helps them glide easily hence the name sugar gliders. The wild sugar gliders are mostly seen in regions like New Guinea and Australia. An interesting fact about these creatures is their lifespan. The wild sugar glider and the sugar glider in captivity have different life spans. Let us learn in-depth about this here.

After reading about the lifespan of these nocturnal animals, do read about hamster lifespan and sun conure lifespan.

Sugar Glider Lifespan In Captivity

For people looking for a different pet aside from a cat or dog, sugar gliders are a great option. Sugar gliders look like flying squirrels in appearance and are sweet creatures that make great pets.

They are mostly seen in the wild but people love to make these creatures their pets. But the question is when they are in a captive state, what is a sugar glider's lifespan? Does being inside a cage affect the sugar glider's lifespan in any way? The average lifespan of a sugar glider in captivity is 10 to 12 years. The lifespan of a sugar glider in captivity will typically remain the same if they are taken proper care of. Sugar gliders make good pets and are very socially active too. Sugar gliders should not be kept alone, they need other male and female sugar glider for company. Since they are nocturnal they are mostly active at night and sleep during the day.

They like to play around and glide through the space they have. The natural habitat is comparatively more free in terms of area and space. In captivity, the sugar gliders might feel more restricted with less space to climb and roam in. But the fact is that these animals are exotic pets that thrive in a wild habitat. So, when they are in a cage without proper care, this can seriously affect their lifespan. Compared to the wild sugar gliders they will have a relatively low lifespan if they are not able to be themselves. The diet and the habitat will take a serious toll on these animals. Even if they bond very well with their owners, that is in no way an indication of their healthy lifespan. So, if you want your pet sugar gliders to be healthy and have a long life span, it is important that they are taken great care of.

Sugar Glider Lifespan In Wild

Sugar gliders are marsupials seen in areas in Australia and Indonesia. These wild creatures are popular pets among pet owners. While sugar gliders make good pets, they are animals of the wild at the end of the day.

This nocturnal animal is very active during the night along with its family. But there is a great difference in the lifespan of sugar gliders in the wild to sugar gliders kept in captivity. In the cage, they live around 10 to 12 years. But in the wild, the sugar glider’s lifespan reduces to three to nine years. How come there is such a huge difference in the lifespan between these two habitats. Since sugar gliders are wild animals, shouldn’t sugar gliders live longer in the wild?

The factors that influence a sugar glider’s lifespan are diet, temperature, environment, and their own health. Research suggests that these factors are related to the lifespan of a sugar glider. In the wild, sugar gliders live in trees along with groups of other sugar gliders. The babies stay with the females when they are born and will usually start to venture out at about three to four months old. These young ones stay with the mother when they are babies up until they are seven to ten months old. These exotic creatures survive the harsh temperature in the wild by huddling together with the other members of the group. The food that they eat in the wild can change according to the location and climate of that location.

These marsupials eat foods like pollen, acacia, nectar, and so on. They love to glide and will glide from tree to tree in the wild. When life is so good in the wild, why is the lifespan relatively low when compared to the sugar glider in captivity? When talking about all the good things related to the wild, it is also important to acknowledge the threats also. Bush fires, deforestation, and predators are all threats to the sugar gliders. Their natural habitat is slowly getting destroyed and the predators are finding it easier to capture them. In the wild, it is the survival of the fittest. These exotic animals will have to fight to live in the wild. This is why there is such a change in the life span in the wild and compared to in captivity.

A young mosaic sugar glider eating a ripe banana.

The Average Lifespan Of A Sugar Glider

Now that we talked about the lifespan of sugar gliders in the wild and in captivity, what is the average lifespan of these creatures if we were to speak in general terms?

As we have already discussed, sugar gliders live for about three to nine years in the wild. They will live for about 10 to 12 years in captivity. Together these animals have an average life span of nine years. Considering the factors that affect the health of a sugar glider, the life expectancy of these animals can increase or decrease.

For both the wild and captive sugar glider the factors that affect their health are just the same. In the wild, these sugar gliders will come across food shortages and other threats. They have no choice other than to die if they fall sick. But the pet sugar glider will have a warm and comfortable life and they will be taken to a vet if they become ill. The biggest issue for a sugar glider is the lack of water, they can survive without food, but without water, they will die due to dehydration. In the wild, it is hard to find water on warm and hot days. This can be a serious threat to the wild sugar gliders.

For the pets, we can ensure that they are fed and hydrated by just checking the skin. For the sugar gliders in the wild, this is an impossible task since they hide inside trees during the day. In the wild, they will eat insects and other wild foods available. But if the water is not available, no great amount of insects can sustain their life. This is mostly why the lifespan of sugar gliders in the wild is lesser than the average lifespan of these creatures.

Their life in the wild is full of hardship when compared to the comfortable lives of the pet sugar glider. Even the sugar gliders diet is different in both of these habitats. Whatever the case, a sugar glider in a captive state is normally seen to be living more than the average life span of these animals.

How to improve the lifespan of a sugar glider?

In the wild, there is nothing we can do about the lifespan of the sugar glider. The only thing we can do to help them is to stop meddling in their natural habitat. But in the case of our pet sugar glider, we might be able to ensure that they can live longer by taking proper care of them.

Our pets can live a long life depending on how well we take care of them. Sugar gliders are wild creatures who love to glide and play around. They are extremely social and bond well with their owners. These creatures normally live in colonies of 10 to 15 other sugar gliders. Two males normally lead these two social groups. So when these sugar gliders are kept as pets, they will be lonely if there are no other males and females to keep them company. So when you have these sugar gliders as pets, make sure that they are not lonely by having more than one sugar glider.

Sugar gliders love to eat foods with sugar but it is important that they have a well-balanced diet with limited amounts of treats. The diet of the sugar glider will be 75% fruit and vegetables and 25% protein. Live insects such as crickets, mealworms, wax worms, and moths should also be offered but only occasionally due to their high fat content. Provide plenty of water for the sugar gliders so that they won't have an issue with dehydration. It is important that their cage is big enough for them to play around in, preferably a tall cage with plenty of space for them to climb. Sugar gliders love to play with toys so you should provide them with as many as possible. The different types of toys to play with can improve their activity and maintain their health too. In short, taking care of all these little factors can improve the lifespan of your pet sugar gliders greatly.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for sugar glider lifespan then why not take a look at guinea pig lifespan, or where do bed bugs come from.

Hemant Oswal
Written By
Hemant Oswal

<p>With global experience in marketing and business development, Hemant is a seasoned professional with a unique perspective. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Commerce from the University of Delhi and a Master's degree in Marketing from The University of Adelaide in Australia. Hemant's work in China, Hong Kong, and Dubai has honed his skills and provided valuable experience. He broadens his understanding of the world through reading non-fiction books and watching documentaries.</p>

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