(Last Updated On: April 15, 2021)

The mountain pygmy possum, scientific name Burramys parvus; additionally merely generally known as the Burramys, is a small, mouse-sized (weighs 45 grams (1.6 oz)) nocturnal marsupial of Australia present in dense alpine rock screes and boulder fields, primarily southern Victoria and around Mount Kosciuszko in Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales at elevations from 1,300 to 2,230 meters (4,270 to 7,320 ft). In this article, I am going to talk about Mountain Pygmy Possum habitat, scientific name, food chain, distribution, life cycle, baby, diet, snow, etc.

Mountain Pygmy Possum profile

At nearly 14 cm (5.5 in), its prehensile tail is longer than its 11 cm (4.Three in) mixed head and body size. Its diet consists of bugs (such because the Bogong moth), fleshy fruits, nuts, nectar, and seeds.

Its body is roofed in a thick coat of superb gray fur aside from its abdomen, which is cream-colored; its tail is hairless. On the underside of the feminine’s body is a pouch containing 4 teats.

This possum is the one extant species within the genus Burramys. It can also be the one Australian mammal restricted to alpine habitat.

The first discovery of this species was from fossils found in 1895 – believed extinct; it wasn’t till 1966 {that a} residing mountain pygmy possum was discovered, at a ski lodge in Victoria, Australia.

Its range is estimated to be lower than 6 or 7km², current solely at elevations between 1,300 and a pair of,228 m above sea level.

Their restricted habitat has been additionally fragmented or lost to the street building, dam/aqueduct building, and the event of infrastructure for the downhill snowboarding trade.

It is the only member of its genus Burramys, with just one different genus within the Burramyidae family; with solely 5 total species of pygmy possum.

Its tail is longer than the size of its head and body mixed. Because of their alpine habitat, they hibernate by means of the winter, residing off fats shops, but additionally popping out of hibernation to feed on saved seeds and berries – it’s the solely marsupial to retailer meals in a cache.

While females can reproduce year-round, they’re restricted by needing to take care of a fats reserve for hibernation and so solely produce one litter of 3-4 to pups within the spring.

This species is restricted to 3 geographically remoted populations in southeast Australia; Kosciuszko National Park (New South Wales), and within the Mt. Bogong – Mt. Higginbotham range and the Mt. Buller-Stirling areas in Victoria. It may additionally happen within the place possible stays have been recognized in predator scats.

This species dwells amongst rock screes and boulder subject heathland in alpine and sub-alpine zones of the ‘Australian Alps’.

They feed on high-energy meals such because the Bogong moth, which migrates to the Australian Alps for breeding in the summer season. Through summer their diet is supplemented with different small arthropods. As winter approaches, they change their diet to seeds and berries.

Mountain Pygmy Possum Description

The mountain pygmy possum is a small rodent-like marsupial. The mountain pygmy possum has an average weight of roughly 45 g and an average head and body size of 110 mm.

The species is sexually dimorphic, with males being barely bigger than females. They have massive, ahead-pointing eyes and quickly pointed snouts. Mountain pygmy possums exhibit diprotodon dentition, with three higher incisors and two higher premolars.

On the syndactylous hind feet, they possess an opposable hallux. In addition, the mountain pygmy possum has a pouch that opens anteriorly and comprises Four teats. Pygmy possums are coated in a layer of superb, dense fur.

Their pelage is greyish-brown on the dorsal aspect, with a darker stripe alongside the midline of the back, and a pale cream color on the ventral aspect. They usually have a darker gray ring surrounding the eyes.

During the breeding season, males develop into more tawny-orange on the stomach and flanks.[8] The mountain pygmy possum has a long prehensile tail, averaging about 140 mm in size, which is sparsely haired.

Mountain Pygmy Possum habitat, scientific name, food chain, distribution, life cycle, baby, diet, snow, etc.

Mountain Pygmy Possum Foraging habits and behavior

Mountain pygmy possums want to feed on Bogong moths which make up a few third of their diet. This moth species (Agrotis infusa) migrates to the high alpine mountainous areas throughout the spring and summer season months.

During these months, mountain pygmy possums utilize Bogong moths as their principal meal source. In the autumn months, Bogong moths depart from the mountain ranges and mountain pygmy possums should complement their diets with fruits and seeds.

Burramys parvis species will complement their diet with the mountain plum pine from the fruit-bearing conifer Podocarpus lawrencei in addition to seeds from the snow beard-heaths Leucopogon spp. and blackberry Rubus spp.

Upon discovering meals, the mountain pygmy possum will first scent the meal source before selecting it up with its incisors. It will then switch the merchandise to its forelimbs in order that it might manipulate the meals and tear off items of flesh.

Mountain Pygmy Possum Habitat and geographic range

The mountain pygmy possum is endemic to the alpine areas of southern Australia. The species is at present restricted to 3 remoted mountain areas: (1) Mount Blue Cow in Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales, (2) Mount Bogong, and Mount Higginbotham/Loch within the Bogong High Plains in Victoria, and (3) Mount Buller in Victoria.

The typical house ranges inside these mountain ranges differ for men and women. Females are likely to reside at higher elevations of roughly 1400–2228 m close to patches of block streams and different deep boulder formations.

The house range of a feminine mountain pygmy possum is correlated with the density of Bogong moths, the pygmy possum’s most well-liked meals source, which varies at totally different elevations.

Females at higher elevations have smaller house ranges on account of a comparatively larger abundance of Bogong moths, whereas females residing at decrease elevations usually have a lot bigger house ranges as the amount of moths declines.

Male mountain pygmy possums reside at low elevations, typically between 1200-1300m, of those mountain ranges. Male house ranges are largest throughout the breeding season, between November and December, once they migrate to feminine nesting sites, and decline thereafter.

Mountain Pygmy Possum Reproduction

Mountain pygmy possums have an annual reproductive cycle. Although females are polyestrous, the need for enough fats reserves throughout hibernation limits females to 1 litter per year.

In order to make sure satisfactory fats reserves, feminine mountain pygmy possums will synchronize reproduction for the spring months, when Bogong moths are ample.

The breeding season usually happens throughout the Austral spring months of October and November. During this time, males migrate to the higher elevation nesting sites of females to mate.

Mountain pygmy possums then have an inside gestation interval of 14–16 days after which the altricial younger will enter the forward-facing pouch of the feminine. A feminine mountain pygmy possum has 4 teats, and a litter is often three to 4 offspring.

The younger stay within the pouch for about 3 weeks, after which they continue to be on the nest for one more 3–Four weeks. The offspring are then weaned at around 9–10 weeks.

The mating system that happens in Burramys parvus is useful resource defense polygyny. A philopatric group of females usually share a nest house inside deep boulder crevices.

The Mountain Pygmy Possum nest sites are typically areas of high densities of migrating Bogong moths. Shortly after mating season, females will drive the male pygmy possums from the nest.

The male mountain pygmy possums don’t take part in parental care. Additionally, juvenile males are pushed from the nest shortly after weaning. As famous in all species of Burramyids, mountain pygmy possums develop into sexually mature ones by one year of age.

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Mountain Pygmy Possum Behavior

Mountain pygmy possums are nocturnal creatures, preferring to sleep throughout the day and forage at night. While all different members of the family Burramyidae are arboreal, the mountain pygmy possum is a terrestrial species.

The most well-liked habitat of those pygmy possums is inside deep boulderfields in the alpine areas of Southern Australia. The females have a tendency to remain in familial teams of as much as 10 associated people. Females additionally are usually comparatively sedentary and exhibit high nest site constancy.

Male mountain pygmy possums, alternatively, are usually solitary, leaving nesting sites as juveniles to take residence in decrease elevations of the mountain ranges.

For this purpose, male mountain pygmy possums typically undergo higher mortality than females because the boulderfields seem to supply some safety from predation.

Mountain Pygmy Possum is famous to be the one small mammal in Australia that hibernates seasonally for long durations of time. All different members of Burramyidae are able to opportunistic hibernation.

Adult mountain pygmy possums enter hibernation for an interval of as much as seven months, whereas juveniles typically hibernate for about 5 months.

Both men and women rely closely on Bogong moths as an energy wealthy meals and for the fattening interval which happens previous to hibernation.

Mountain pygmy possums are additionally famous for cache seeds and berries which they are going to feed on during times once they awaken from torpor.

Mountain Pygmy Possum habitat, scientific name, food chain, distribution, life cycle, baby, diet, snow, etc.

During the months of hibernation, Burramys parvus, Mountain Pygmy Possum is famous to awaken from torpor for durations of two to 3 days at a time throughout which the animal will feed on cached meal assets.

These durations of arousal usually happen when the ambient temperature is 4–7 ˚C. During the hibernating interval, the mountain pygmy possum is able to reduce its temperature to 2 ˚C.

Individuals in lethargic durations will curl their bodies up, tucking their heads into their chest or stomach to be able to retain body warmth. In addition, females have been noticed sharing nests constructed from moss and snow grass. Both men and women are famous to hibernate beneath an insulating layer of snow.

During the breeding season within the spring and summer season months, older, heavier mountain pygmy possums usually occupy the best high-quality habitats.

While males are typically tolerant of each other throughout many of the years, they will act aggressively towards one another throughout the breeding season.

Aggression is famous in each man and woman within the type of tail biting. Females are noticed to behave very aggressively in direction of each man and woman when defending nesting sites, particularly when offspring are present.

Additionally, females are aggressive to adult males following the breeding season in addition to juvenile males post-weaning.


Since 2008 and as of February 2019 the mountain pygmy possum has been declared by the IUCN Redlist as Critically endangered. Population estimates totaled lower than 2000 people from the three mixed remoted populations in 2000. Current inhabitants estimates point out that these numbers have severely declined within the final decade.

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