Our friend: The Mountain Pygmy Possum
This year, when I went to the snowy mountain, I saw this kind of cute animal. People call it Mountain Pygmy Possum. Mountain Pygmy Possum is a small-size rodent usually at the length of 25 cm (11 cm for body & head and 14 cm for tail) and 45 grams weight. It was first discovered in 1895. Nuts, seeds and insects are suitable for them to eat. Normally, its back was covered with the smooth, dense and gray fur and its eyes were surrounded by a darker gray ring as well. However, its ventral side was covered with a pale cream color. It prefers to live in the high alpine region and pray moth. For its reproduction, it will mate in October and November. The baby will be taken good care by their mother for about 7-8 weeks.
However, the pity thing is that it is experiencing the decline of its population. It was listed on IUCN Red List because its habitat is less than 100 km2. What’s worse, there are numerous of indications show that its rare habitat is experiencing the seriously decline of quality and extent. As the consequence of this decline, the numbers of Mountain Pygmy Possum mature individuals show a rapid downward trend.
In the snowy mountain, the Mountain Pygmy Possum are seriously affected by human activities. For example, people built lots of resorts which will lead to fragmentation of its habitat. What’s worse, visitors waste will decrease the quality of the snow and it decreases the quality of habitat as well.
Thus, scientists have put lots of effort to protect its habitat and population.
A. Save the rest of the species
As the number of the rest mature individual is less than 1,200, some artificial propagation has been taken to increase the number of the population. People make special cool room for the Mountain Pygmy Possum and provide enough high quality food for them.
Each year, many of the Mountain Pygmy Possum were killed by red fox and feral cat. Control the number of them is significant. Red fox and feral cat hotline has been set by government. Public can report to office about their findings and government will take action to control the number of the red fox and feral cat.
C. Get attention from society
Governments also use media to tell the story of the Mountain Pygmy Possum and want to increase the awareness of public and donation. And fortunately, this dose work. More and more people stat to pay attention on the Mountain Pygmy Possum and are willing to donate for the conservation plan.
These are some useful links you can get information, I really hope you can do something for this lovely animal and let our future generation appreciate it in the real world.
By LU Shangming
fenner school ANU