Leadbeater's Possum

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Leadbeater's Possum. Image by Justin McManus

The Leadbeater's or "fairy possum" is Victoria's iconic faunal emblem. This marsupial lives in ancient tree hollows in Toolangi and the Central Highlands and when fully grown can fit in the palm of a human hand.

Managed Extinction
The possum nests in hollows in old Mountain Ash gums, forest giants that are becoming rare in Victoria due to clearfell logging. Habitat destruction means that the possum is severely restricted in its choice of suitable nesting sites and critically endangered. Logging of remnant old growth forest increasingly leaves the possum without suitable hollows in which to nest. Monitoring programs indicate that there are fewer than 1500 of these critters left in the wild, and if logging continues, the possum could face extinction if fire sweeps through its remaining habitat.

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