Pippy the Mountain Pigmy Possum!
Pippy Possum shows children that you can achieve almost anything you dream about in this heart-warming song about something that is very dear to her in her home in the Magical Mountains.
Pippy and Ellie’s Adventure
Mountain Pygmy-possum Facts
The endangered Mountain Pygmy-possum is the largest of the Pygmy-possum family, yet weighs only 45 grams and can easily fit into the palm of a hand. These tiny possums spend the short summer scampering amazing distances up and down mountains and across boulder fields to find mates. They also need to fatten up on berries and fat-rich bogong moths in preparation for the long cold and foodless winter under the snow. The total adult population is less than 3000, and there are a range of major threats to its survival.
The world’s only hibernating marsupial, the Mountain Pygmy-possum is the only Australian mammal limited in its distribution to alpine and subalpine regions, where there is a continuous period of snow cover for up to six months.
The Mountain Pygmy-possum’s habitat is therefore patchy, restricted to around eight square kilometres above 1600 metres sea level in New South Wales’ Kosciusko National Park and two square kilometres above 1400 metres sea level in Victoria’s Alpine National Park, centred on Mount Hotham and Mount Buller. This means that the Mountain Pygmy-possum’s total available habitat covers less than 10 square kilometres.
The Mountain Pygmy-possum needs a snow depth over winter of at least one metre to provide enough insulation to keep it warm during hibernation. Consequently, anything that reduces the snow depth threatens the possum. Sharing their mountain-top habitat with ski fields contributes to this and brings other problems for Pygmy-possums. Snow compaction and the removal of boulders and vegetation cover, the development of noisy ski fields, villages, car parks and roads have altered, reduced and broken up Pygmy-possum habitat.
Preyed on by foxes and feral cats, the surviving colonies also face a new threat from global warming. Warmer temperatures would fragment and thin the winter snow cover, reducing its insulation capacity and exposing the Pygmy-possums to colder temperatures, making it even harder for them to survive the winter.
The plans focus on predator control, revegetation and habitat restoration, sediment control and impacts associated with maintenance activities, such as slope grooming and trail maintenance. Recovery works include the construction of tunnels between fragmented habitat patches, the re-creation of boulder fields and planting of Mountain Plum Pine, Alpine Grevillea and Alpine Podolobium.
A captive breeding program has also been implemented at the Healesville Sanctuary, Victoria. Mountain Pygmy-possums have been removed from Mt Buller to the Sanctuary, where a refrigerated facility simulates the possum’s natural environment.
This is a Mountain Pygmy Possum in the wild…
And this is Pippy the Possum from the Magical Mountains!