In a major conservation win for the species, a male Mountain Pygmy-possum has been born in the wild — the first with parents from each of the genetically distinct Mt Buller and Mt Hotham populations. In October 2010, a team from DSE, University of Melbourne, Healesville Sanctuary temporarily re-located 6 Mt Hotham males into the territory of females at Mt Buller during the breeding season. The relocation efforts were part of a recovery plan for the Mountain Pygmy-possums, to combat their drastic decline in numbers and further in-breeding among the remaining population. The birth of ‘Lil Lou’, the product of the assisted love match between Mt Hotham male ‘White Stone’ and a female Mt Buller possum was discovered on a recent trapping visit to the Alpine region.
Mountain Pygmy-possums, one of Australia’s rarest marsupials and listed as ‘Threatened — critically endangered’ Victoria on the Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act, have one breeding season per year and can have up to four young at a time.