First snow. Image: Louise Perrin

Louise Perrin is Environmental Manager for the Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board. She has been the driving force behind an innovative – and very successful – recovery plan for the endangered Mountain Pygmy Possum.

The possum is the only native mammal that lives in the alpine environment above the treeline and its habitat is threatened by development, climate change and introduced flora and fauna.

The Recovery Plan for the species on Mt Buller was developed in 2005. It contains a range of actions to assist in the continued survival and conservation of the Mountain Pygmy-possum on the mountain. This has relied on substantial support from the Resort Board, the ski lift company, and the Department of Sustainability and Environment, and has even involved the construction of boulder fields to create habitat for the animals.

In spite of the pressures from ski field development through its habitat, the fires of 2007, and the longer term impacts of climate change on alpine environments, the Mt Buller project is a showcase of a program which has helped bring a species back from the brink of extinction.

Lou says “I just want to do my best to ensure that my kids can enjoy this little patch of alpine Australia as much as I do”. But her contribution to this effort has been huge and deserves widespread acknowledgement.

There is a profile on Lou here.