Leadbeater’s Possum Becomes National Geographic Photo Ark’s 7,000th Species

Leadbeater’s possum, Gymnobelideus leadbeateri, at Healesville Sanctuary, Healesville, Victoria, Australia.

With this image of the Leadbeater’s possum at Zoos Victoria, the Photo Ark has surpassed the 7,000 species milestone.

This adorable marsupial was missing in action for more than 50 years before being rediscovered in 1961. The tiny possums are speedy and feisty, and, with estimates as low as 50 for the Lowland population, their status has recently been upgraded to critically endangered. Zoos Victoria has led extensive research on the possum for a number years and has hopes to soon begin a breeding population.

The possums are nicknamed ‘forest fairies’, referencing the way these little critters navigate the forest understory at night and the fact that they nest in hollow-bearing trees. These unique animals are threatened due to the loss of these types of trees, the threat of wildlife and the loss of suitable habitat due to land clearing which has led to smaller and fragmented populations.


Critically endangered Leadbeater’s possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri) at Healesville Sanctuary in Victoria, Australia.
Photo: Julie Jensen Director of Marketing | WVC O: 866.800.7326 | D: 702.443.9249 | E: j.jensen@wvc.org

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