The Endangered Leadbeaters Possum lives mostly in tall upland forests!
The Leadbeater’s possum was thought to be extinct for almost 50 years. It is at risk of extinction so its battle to survive is considerable. Logging and large bushfires across Victoria have destroyed habitat and is what wipes out large numbers of the species in very short periods of time. Breeding programs in captivity have been largely unsuccessful.
There are 23 known species of Possum in Australia and they are arboreal marsupials. They are hard to spot because they are all nocturnal.
The leadbeater does not have a gliding membrane but is incredibly agile and swift. It is also known as the fairy possum. Its inhabits tall trees living from 6 to 30 metres above the ground.
The leadbeater’s are grey or grey/brown in colour, paler underneath and have a dark midline marking or stripe on their backs. They are only about 33cm long including their tail. There tail is referred to as a club tail because the end of the tail or tip is wider.
The Leadbeater’s possum lives in family groups of about 12 possums inclusive of the one monogamous breeding pair. They will sleep together in large nests made of bark and situated in the hollow of trees.
One matriarch leads there small society and she will defend there area or space aggressively.
The vulnerable Leadbeater is Victoria’s Faunal Emblem.
Illustration by artist Rosie Marshall
In Animal Dreaming terms the Possum is “opportunity” i.e. the Possum inspires us to productively harness all opportunities to our best advantage. The Possum encourages us to seek out and experiment with new things. Ref: Scott Alexander King