Mountain Pygmy Possum
The Mountain Pygmy Possum was for over 70 years known only as a fossil before being discovered as a living species. It’s unique among marsupials in being confined to the Australian Alps. It hibernates for up to seven months each winter beneath the snow in a nest constructed among boulders. It’s mostly terrestrial and nocturnal, feeding on invertebrates, seeds and fruit. Fewer than 3000 Mountain Pygmy Possums remain, all found within an area of less than six square kilometres.
This species is threatened by ski resort development and declining snow cover as a result of climate change.
Distribution: Australian Alps
Conservation status: Critically Endangered
Evolutionary distinctiveness: High