Further studies found significant variation within populations classified in P. breviceps, sufficient enough to split into multiple species. The subspecies P. b. biacensis, from Biak Island off New Guinea, was reclassified as a separate species, Biak glider (Petaurus biacensis). [note 3]In 2020, a landmark study found that P. breviceps actually comprised three cryptic species: the Krefft's glider (Petaurus notatus), found throughout most of eastern Australia and introduced to Tasmania, the savanna glider (Petaurus ariel) native to northern Australia, and the true P. breviceps, restricted to a small section of coastal forest in southern Queensland and most of New South Wales. In addition, other sugar glider populations throughout this range (such as those on New Guinea and the Cape York Peninsula) may represent undescribed species or be conspecific with previously-described species. This indicates that contrary to previous findings of a large range (which in fact applied to P. notatus and to a lesser extent, P. ariel), P. breviceps is a range-restricted species that is sensitive to damaging events such as the 2019-20 Australian bushfires, which significantly affected large portions of its habitat.
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