FAQ: What Do Mountain Pygmy Possums Eat?

What is the diet of the Mountain Pygmy-possum?

The Mountain Pygmy-possum likes to eat the fruit of the Mountain Plum Pine, berries, fleshy fruits, Bogong months, insects, nectar and seeds. The female mountain Pygmy-possum can live for up to 13 years, making it the longest-living small marsupial known.

What are the predators of the Mountain Pygmy-possum?

The major threats Climate change, the loss of habitat and predators, mainly feral cats and foxes, are all severe threats to the Mountain Pygmy-possum. An emerging threat is the reduction in the possum’s key food source over spring, the Bogong Moth.

What is a key food source for the Mountain Pygmy-possum?

The moths are a key food source for the possums as they wake from hibernation. In 2018, scientists revealed bogong moths were the only known insect to use the earth’s magnetic field to help them navigate from grasslands in northern New South Wales and southern Queensland – sometimes at distances of 1,000km.

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Why are pygmy possums such good climbers?

They are excellent climbers, due in part to their prehensile tails. Although they cannot glide like some possums, some species can leap long distances. They have a prehensile tail for grabbing branches, but spend most of their time on the ground.

How can we save mountain pygmy possums?

Project activities that have been designed to help the species recover include:

  1. Population monitoring and baseline genetic data collection.
  2. Weed control to enable recovery of Mountain Plum Pine (Podocarpus lawrencei), a favourite source of food for Mountain Pygmy-possum.
  3. Revegetating habitat with appropriate species.

How long do mountain pygmy possums live for?

Pygmy possums live to approximately five years in the wild.

Do pygmy possums make good pets?

They are very good pets for beginners because of their cleanliness, omnivorous diet, and general good health. These opossums are small, generally friendly creatures with easy care requirements, and they certainly are cute!

What is the life cycle of a pygmy possum?

Up to four young are born. The young grow quickly and are weaned 9-10 weeks after conception. They leave the nest a month later. Most pygmy-possums live for only 1-3 years, however males can live to five years, and females to 12.

Can you have a pygmy possum as a pet?

It’s illegal to keep them without a wildlife rehabilitation permit, though, and once they’re old enough to survive on their own, healthy possums can, and should, be released. They’re wild animals who don’t fare well often in captivity. Trying to transform a possum into a pet can be expensive and heartbreaking.

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Is the Mountain Pygmy-possum endangered?

The Mountain Pygmy-possum is threatened in NSW by the loss, degradation and fragmentation of habitat. Two of the four main sub-populations are located within ski resort areas. Past management practices by the resorts have led to direct loss of habitat and alteration of vegetation.

Where does a Mountain Pygmy-possum live?

The Mountain Pygmy-possum lives only in alpine and subalpine areas on the highest mountains of Victoria and NSW. In NSW the entire range is in a 30 km by 8 km area of Kosciuszko National Park between Thredbo and Kerries Ridge, where it occupies less than four square kilometres of habitat.

What is the smallest possum in the world?

The Tasmanian pygmy possum (Cercartetus lepidus), also known as the little pygmy possum or tiny pygmy possum, is the world’s smallest possum.

Do pygmy possums migrate?

This moth species (Agrotis infusa) migrates to the high alpine mountainous regions during the spring and summer months. During these months, mountain pygmy possums utilise Bogong moths as their principal food source.

Why are pygmy possums nocturnal?

The Eastern Pygmy Possum is nocturnal, emerging at night to feed on nectar and pollen from flowering plants such as banksias and eucalypts, as well as some insects. It is an important pollinator, transferring pollen between flowers as it feeds.

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