Keeping Notes

With how little is known about sugar gliders both in the wild and in captivity, it would be a great help to you to keep notes about the behaviors, habits, sounds, and other topics of interest regarding your own sugar gliders. And if you are willing to share these notes, any and all gathered data and observations would be useful to the community of sugar glider caregivers.

Topics of Note

Below are lists of topics that you might want to include in your notes. These lists are by no means complete.

  • bonding behaviors
  • sleeping patterns
  • play time behaviors
  • how they interact with others of their own kind
  • how they interact with other creatures (including yourself)
  • eating and drinking behaviors
  • mating behaviors

  • what are their favorite fruits, veggitables, treats, etc
  • what type of foraging activities do they enjoy
  • how often in a night do they eat/drink
  • do they eat during the day?
  • how often do they get bored of one diet?

  • how do they communicate with other sugar gliders?
  • how do they communicate with you & other creatures?
  • body language
  • vocalizations

  • how do you provide mental enrichment?
  • how do they interact with various enrichment opportunities?
  • what new 'games' do they learn?
  • what methods do you use to train them & how did they work?

Methods of Note Taking & Data Gathering

Some people prefer to write, others to talk. Make sure that you take your own preferences and abilities into account when choosing a manner to keep your notes and gather data. You can keep a video journal with something as simple as a webcam, you can keep a handwritten journal in a 3-ring binder (or an actual journal), you can type your notes into a Word file (or similar), you can keep a web log (blog), and on down the line.

There are many ways to gather data and observe our sugar gliders. Of course, the easiest way is to watch them and interact with them. It is always best to start there for many reasons (the smallest of which is the note keeping). You can also set up a night-vision camera to record their behaviors while you're unable to personaly observe them such as when you are asleep.

Also, always provide new toys, experiences, treats, etc to provide enrichment and to further your knowledge gained through observing how they react/interact. Note: keep an eye open for possible hazards.

Methods of Sharing

Possibly the easiest way to share your notes is to keep a web log (blog) or other internet based, plublic journal. This can be either written or in video form. Tools for written web logs include journals on sugar glider forums, Facebook Notes, Blogger, WordPress, etc... Tools for video web logs include YouTube, Facebook Videos, and other video sharing sites.

You can also share by adding to Gliderpedia and similar Wiki-style websites, participating on forums, sharing with your vet (and give him/her permission to share them as well), & sharing with research groups such as The Sugar Group.

As the sugar glider caregiver community continues to grow, learn, and adapt more methods of sharing and gathering knowledge will arise. Considering that they have been pets for less than two decades, we've come a long way but we also have a long way to go. One of the main challenges to owning a sugar glider is the lack of scientific information; we generally have to rely on our own experiences and the experiences of other caregivers. However, the more knowledge gained and shared the better.

Last Edited January 26, 2011