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Rare Pygmy Possums Rediscovered After Fears Bushfires Wiped Them Out

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 06 Dec 2020 14:47
Rare Pygmy Possums Rediscovered After Fears Bushfires Wiped Them OutKangaroo Island Land For Wildlife/Facebook

This year has thrown us a number of curveballs, but perhaps one of the much more pleasant surprises, is the discovery of a little pygmy possum, which hasn’t been seen since the deadly bushfires that ravaged Australia.

It was feared the adorable little species had been wiped out by the devastating fires, which burned almost half of Australia, so the discovery almost a year on, is incredible news for the animal kingdom.

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The delicate little creatures were found by Aussie conservation group Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife, as part of the huge recovery efforts following on from the bushfires.

According to fauna ecologist Pat Hodgens, there has only ever been 113 formal records of the pygmy possums, which weigh just seven grams each.

‘So, certainly not very common and, obviously, the summer bushfires burnt through much of that habitat that species had, but we were certainly hopeful that we would find them,’ he told ABC.

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Pygmy possums are believed to be the world’s smallest possum, which makes them incredibly difficult to find and to study.

Rare Pygmy Possums Rediscovered After Fears Bushfires Wiped Them OutKangaroo Island Land For Wildlife/Facebook

The Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife us now undergoing extensive surveys to find out which species are still around in a bid to ‘do everything we can to protect them to ensure that they hang around during this pretty critical time,’ Hodgens says.

He added:

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It’s very important now because it is kind of like the last refuge for a lot of these species that really rely on very old long, unburned vegetation.

As part of their investigations, more than 20 different wildlife species have been discovered, including a tammar wallaby and a southern brown bandicoot.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: Animals, Australia, Australian Bushfires, Bushfires, Now

Credits

ABC
  1. ABC

    Little pygmy possum discovered on Kangaroo Island after fears bushfires had wiped them out