The Mountain Pygmy–possum, Burramys parvus, is Australia’s only hibernating marsupial.
It is a small, mouse-sized nocturnal marsupial found in dense alpine rock screes and boulder fields, mainly in southern Victoria and around Mount Kosciuszko. The species is currently restricted to three isolated mountain regions: Mount Blue Cow in Kosciusko National Park in New South Wales, Mount Bogong and Mount Higginbotham/ Mt Loch in the Bogong High Plains in Victoria, and Mount Buller in Victoria.
The biggest threats to the remaining mountain pygmy possum populations include:
- habitat destruction and fragmentation,
- climate change,
- predation by feral cats and red foxes, and
- threats to the Bogong moth.
- The construction of ski resorts in the alpine regions in which the mountain pygmy possums live has been one of the greatest factors attributed to population decline.
Now, recent research underscores the fact that climate change may be posing a major threat to the viability of the species by decimating the moths which act as a major food source for the possum.
The Guardian reports that the Bogong Moth which migrate in their billions to alpine areas have crashed, which is putting extra pressure on the endangered mountain pygmy possum.