Tiny Pygmy Possums Found on Kangaroo Island After Fears of Bushfires Wiping Them Out

The devastating Australian bushfires of 2019–20 burned almost half of the country and killed or displaced nearly three billion animals. One species that many feared we had lost forever was the pygmy possum. The bushfires destroyed most of their habitat, and no one had seen the rare, tiny creatures since the fires began. However, hope was recently restored when pygmy possums were discovered on Kangaroo Island by wildlife conservation NGO, Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife.

Weighing just 7 grams and measuring around 10 cm (including their tail), pygmy possums are often described as the world's smallest possum. In addition to Kangaroo Island, they can mainly be found in Tasmania and on mainland South Australia and Victoria. Given their tiny size, they’re difficult to find and study; however, the Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife group were pleasantly surprised to find them. The search was part of a large recovery effort to investigate which species were left after the bushfires.

“There's only really been 113 formal records of the species [ever on Kangaroo Island],” Fauna ecologist Pat Hodgens says. “So certainly not very common and, obviously, the summer bushfires burnt through much of that habitat that species had, but we were certainly hopeful that we would find them.”

Along with the pygmy possums, more than 20 other wildlife species have been found, including a tammar wallaby and a southern brown bandicoot. This is fantastic news for the future of each species, and now Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife wants to do everything it can to protect them. Since the fires destroyed much of their habitat, the vulnerable animals need all the help they can get, since they are now more exposed to predators. Hodgens explains, “It's very important now because it is kind of like the last refuge for a lot of these species that really rely on very old long, unburned vegetation.”

Check out photos of the adorable pygmy possums below and find out more about Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife’s efforts on Facebook.

Wildlife conservation NGO Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife recently discovered rare pygmy possums living on Kangaroo Island.

The tiny creatures were believed to be wiped out by the Australian bushfires, but thankfully some survived.

Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife: Facebook
h/t: [Unilad]

All images via Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife.

Related Articles:

Australian Wildlife Park Welcomes Its First Baby Koala Since the Bushfires

First Koalas Injured in Australian Bushfires Are Being Released Into the Wild

Australian Army Troops Use Time Off From Fighting Bushfires to Care for Displaced Koalas

Viral Posts Claim Wombats Are Shepherding Animals to Their Burrows During Australian Bushfires

Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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