This week’s Monday Memory returns us to just over a decade ago, in 2012, where FAME partnered with the Department of Sustainability and Environment Victoria to increase the viability of the Mountain Pygmy Population at Mt Buller.
The Mountain Pygmy Possum (Burramys parvus) is Australia’s only hibernating marsupial, and is critically endangered. Restricted to just three remaining areas, one of which continues to be the Mt Buller site, this species has had numbers decimated by land clearing and introduced predators.
But there is a more recent, concerning danger facing the possum: the disappearance of its preferred food source - the Bogong Moth. After waking from hibernation, mountain pygmy possums feast on these moths which helps provide sustenance for juveniles through the spring. In the past decade, moth numbers have fallen drastically having once migrated to the possums’ home in the billions.
It is thought that the use of pesticides in agriculture, light pollution and drought all affect moth numbers, and the moths themselves have now been listed as Endangered.
To confront emerging threats like this, species need sustainable, genetically diverse populations of sufficient size - it provides padding for population loss and the required numbers to adapt to changes in the environment.
Without the support of the FAME community back in 2012, this partnership in Mt Buller would not have been possible.
See more projects from the past on our interactive timeline at this link.