Recovery of the Mountain Pygmy-possum

Victoria Nature Festival

Once thought to be extinct, watch the recovery of the Mountain Pygmy-possum.

Image of a Mountain Pygmy-possum sitting on a rock
Thought to be extinct until the 1960’s, one of Australia’s only hibernating marsupials, making its home close to mountain peaks, the Mountain Pygmy-possum (Burranys parvus) is extraordinary in many ways. 

One of the smallest Australian possums, it does not live in trees, but in the boulder fields and rock screes and enjoys a diet made up of over 50% arthropods - especially Bogong  Moths (Agrotis infusa) in spring and summer. 

While thousands of people are enjoying the alpine snowfields, the Mountain Pygmy-possum is hibernating, asleep under the snow in rock crevices. 

It is estimated there are only 2,000 adult Mountain Pygmy-possums remaining in the wild.  

The total population of Mountain Pygmy-possum is found only in Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales and Mt Buller and Mt Bogong across to Mt Higginbotham in Victoria. 

These three groups are effectively isolated from one another by low elevation valleys containing unsuitable habitats for the species, essentially creating ‘islands in the sky’. 

Each one of these populations of the Mountain Pygmy-possum is critically important to the survival of the species and its adaptive potential. 

Watch how a project supported by the North East CMA with funding through the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program is helping his gorgeous and special little possum. 

Learn about the recovery of the incredibly special Mountain Pygmy-possum