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Leadbeater's Possum

Leadbeater's Possum

Leadbeater's Possum
Leadbeater's Possum
Photographer - Gary Lewis
Source - Gary Lewis Photography Pty. Ltd

Gymnobelideus leadbeateri

This species, the Faunal Emblem of Victoria, is the only mammal found solely in Victoria.

It is a small possum, about the size of a Sugar Glider, but more robust and lacking any gliding membrane. Its coat is grey-brown above and creamy-yellow below.

It was found in Westernport at the time of early settlement, but now it is confined mainly to tall forest areas north-east of Melbourne.

For many years it was thought to be extinct, but it was rediscovered near Marysville in 1961.

The diet is close to that of the Sugar Glider, but with more emphasis on plant exudates such as the gum from Silver Wattle Acacia dealbata trees. Tall forests of E.regnans, E.nitens and E.delecatensis fulfil its critical requirements, which include abundant nest sites in old hollow trees and stags, an Acacia understorey, and abundant loose bark, with the dual purpose of providing food (invertebrates) and shelter. These requirements are closely related to particular stages of forest growth, particularly old growth.

Logging and habitat destruction threaten the continued existence of this species.

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