1200

Leadbeater’s possum

Australia

1200

Gymnobelideus leadbeateri

Endangered

  • Habitat loss
  • Drought and wildfires
  • Feral predators

The Leadbeater’s Possum, which can only be found in a limited area in the Australian state of Victoria, is named after the taxidermist John Leadbeater. This arboreal marsupial species is the faunal emblem of Victoria.

This fast-moving, nocturnal creature belongs to the critically endangered list of the IUCN because of its specialised habitat requirement: within cavities of rainforest trees that are neither too young nor too old.

And because of the scarcity of trees with hollow-bearing age, it is difficult to increase the population of the Leadbeater’s Possum species. It is not only its preferred habitat but this is where it gets its main food source – saps, gums, resin, and other tree exudates.

Commercial harvesting practices and illegal logging both contribute to the dwindling numbers of the Leadbeater’s Possum. This makes them vulnerable to feral cats and other predators. And with the continued effects of global warming, droughts and wildfires are a frequent occurrence, further endangering the survival of this Australian endemic possum.