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The marsupials were found 30 km north of their other populations, at 1200 m and 1240 m above sea level "much lower than that experienced in the southern sites, which are mostly above 1600 m but down to 1400 m," Linda says.

Mountain pygmy possum under threat

NEW POPULATIONS OFone of Australia's most endangered marsupials, the mountain pygmy possum (Burramys parvus), have been discovered in Kosciuszko National Park.

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Aprogram to breed a population of the marsupials at Secret Creek is still in the planning stage, and Trevor istrying to raise funds to survey the site and analyse DNA samples of the animals.

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However, even if more groups are discovered, the whole population of the Toddler Converse High Tops Red

Professor Mike Archer, a palaeobiologist at the University of New South Wales in Sydney warns that we can't celebrate the long term viability of the mountain pygmy possums just yet, but hopes a bold new captive breeding strategy could help save them.

´╗┐Hidden populations of mountain pygmy possum found

Convinced the mountain pygmy possums followed encroaching rainforest up the mountain in a previous warming period, Mike thinks they then became trapped up there in the boulder fields when the rainforests disappeared. Unlike a conventional captive breeding effort that is focussing on re releasing animals totheir ever shrinking alpine habitats, the establishment ofa colony in lowland rainforest, abundant in NSW and Victoria, could be an effective solution, Mike says.

Previously, scientists thought thetiny creatures, weighing about 45 g,only lived in four isolated populations, covering a total area of just 5 km sq. Converse High Tops Black And Red

But two pygmy possums were discovered by Australian Museum scientists conducting a routine fauna survey in December 2010 in a surprising location, says biologist Dr Linda Broome from NSW's Department of Environment Climate Change and Water, who has studied the species for 25 years.

in southern NSW and the north eastern Victorian Alps.

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Trevor Evans, the AG Society's 2010 Conservationist Converse Kids High Tops

Previously only known in fossil form,the mountain pygmy possum was thought to be extinct, until 1966when one was spotted running around a ski lodge kitchen at Mount Hotham.

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Bold new strategy for endangered possum

Fossils found across Australia suggest that mountain pygmy possum relatives were once numerous and had a great geographic distribution. They are now restricted to what Linda calls a "tiny remnant population that could blink out anytime, unless we try to do something about it."

"Given half a chance they could repopulate the Snowy [Mountains]. It's preferred[that]they could do it by themselves, but we are planning on giving them a helping hand," Trevor says.

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species would still be fewer than 1,000 individuals, Linda adds.

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"There are a lot of basalt boulder habitats in the region, similar to where we found this new population," she says. "But what is exciting, is this new find is below 1600 metres and this opens up the possibility of discovering some more small populations at these lower elevations." Linda has identified three small populations, capturing another 34 individuals in the same area.

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Converse Shoes Womens Uk

As the only marsupial known to hibernate under the snow, mountain pygmy possums are now under threat from climate change. Periods of short snow cover and early Converse Shoes Womens Uk snow melt, as well as thinning snow cover, all disturb their hibernation. The little marsupials are also threatened by feral cats, foxes, urban development and shrinking supplies of Bogong moths, one of their major food sources.

Even with this new addition to the total population, the mountain pygmy possum is still in danger of becoming extinct within a generation. Nevertheless thefind is exciting, Linda says. "This may mean they can hang on at low densities and at lower altitudes, which gives me confidence they can survive, but it still requires experimental work correlating temperature and breeding," she says.

of the Year, who founded the Secret Creek species conservation area in Lithgow, NSW, believes this new population is a prime candidate for a breeding program as it makes the adaptation to lower altitude a little bit easier.

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