This year has seen a number of events that have directly impacted living creatures, but the rediscovery of the small pygmy possum in Australia is arguably the most welcome news in these times.
This uncommon species has not been spotted in the country since before the catastrophic wildfires ravaged the country, thus its appearance is a complete shock.
The cute animals were thought to have been killed off by the intense flames of the fires, but it was spotted again over a year later.
The small mammal was discovered earlier this week while doing field study by the Australian conservation organisation Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife.
After the forest fires that occurred in the summer, Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife is working to achieve a partial and comprehensive recovery.
The powerful flames are believed to have impacted roughly 211,000 hectares, and numerous animal species have suffered catastrophic effects. The most severely affected areas were Kangaroo Island’s western tip, the adjacent Ravine des Casoars Wilderness Protection area, and Kelly Hill Conservation Park.
Despite the devastation caused by the fires late last year and early this year, this wonderful news provides a ray of hope. The finding was surprising, according to Pat Hodgens, a wildlife scientist, because this opossum has just 113 documented records owing to its size.
Pat said to ABC News:
“It’s certainly not common, and the summer wildfires had burnt much of the species’ habitat, but we were hopeful of seeing them again.”
Because this type of possum weighs just seven grams, experts find its sightings weird and unusual.
It may be found in areas of Tasmania, mainland South Australia, and Victoria, as well as on Kangaroo Island, and is renowned as the world’s tiniest possum.
The conservation organization has also managed to locate more than 20 additional types of wildlife in addition to this extraordinary and astonishing discovery. The finding of a bibrons toad, a southern brown pearlid, and a Tammar wallaby are among the highlights.
Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife will continue to undertake research in order to find new species and conserve them so that they can thrive in their natural habitat.
“It’s critical right now because it’s the final refuge for many of these species that rely on very ancient, lengthy, and unburned foliage,” says the author.
Although the finding of this little mammal is welcome news, many more species, such as the local marsh rat, have yet to be discovered.
Pat had this to say:
“We don’t know much about this species because it’s uncommon on the island and prone to forest fires,” says the researcher.
Finding new animals, on the other hand, is a source of optimism and a reward for conservationists’ hard work.