Protecting Leadbeater's Possum
In 2012, Healesville Sanctuary initiated a captive-breeding program to prevent the extinction of the last lowland Leadbeater’s Possums at Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve. This population has declined by 62% during the past 10 years, and now only 40 individuals remain.
Leadbeater’s Possum was one of the species most severely impacted by the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires. In the Central Highlands, 45% of the best montane habitats for the species was burnt. The survey results following the fire indicate the species is far more fire-sensitive than was previously recognised, with no possums persisting at sites burnt in 2009, regardless of fire severity. The Black Saturday fire wiped out a major population stronghold present on the Lake Mountain plateau.
Source: Strategic Audit Report 2014
Image: John Englart