Species Profile and Threats Database

For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Endangered
Recovery Plan Decision Recovery Plan required, included on the Commenced List (1/11/2009).
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Other EPBC Act Plans Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by the European Red Fox (Environment Australia (EA), 1999a) [Threat Abatement Plan].
Threat Abatement Plan for Predation by Feral Cats (Environment Australia (EA), 1999b) [Threat Abatement Plan].
Threat Abatement Plan for Competition and Land Degradation by Feral Rabbits (Environment Australia (EA), 1999c) [Threat Abatement Plan].
Policy Statements and Guidelines Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened mammals. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.5 (Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC), 2011j) [Admin Guideline].
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Declaration under s178, s181, and s183 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 - List of threatened species, List of threatened ecological communities and List of threatening processes (Commonwealth of Australia, 2000) [Legislative Instrument].
State Government
    Documents and Websites
NSW:Mountain Pygmy-Possum - profile (NSW Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water (NSW DECCW), 2005bb) [Internet].
NSW:Recovery Plan for the Mountain Pygmy-Possum (Burramys Parvus) (NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, 2002) [State Recovery Plan].
NSW:Review of the Threatened Species Conservation Act Schedules 2007-2009 (NSW Scientific Committee (NSW SC), 2009b) [State Species Management Plan].
VIC:Flora and Fauna Guarantee Action Statement 2 - Mountain Pygmy Possum Burramys parvus (Mansergh, I, P. Kelly & G. Johnson, 2003) [State Action Plan].
State Listing Status
NSW: Listed as Endangered (Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995 (New South Wales): December 2013)
VIC: Listed as Threatened (Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988 (Victoria): February 2014)
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Critically Endangered (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2011.2)
VIC: Listed as Critically Endangered (Advisory List of Threatened Vertebrate Fauna in Victoria: 2013)
Scientific name Burramys parvus [267]
Family Burramyidae:Diprotodonta:Mammalia:Chordata:Animalia
Species author Broom,1896
Infraspecies author  
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

The Pygmy-possum family includes the smallest of the possums. The Mountain Pygmy-possum is the largest member of this family and the only one to live on the ground instead of in trees. It is also the only Australian marsupial that hibernates. Males grow to 110 mm, with a tail length of 138 mm and a weight of 30–54 g; females grow to 111 mm, with a tail length of 136 mm and a weight of 30–82 g (Strahan 2002).

The Mountain Pygmy-possum is grey-brown along the length of its back up to the top of its head. It is sometimes darker in the middle of its back. Its underside is a pale grey-brown to creamy colour which, in adults, develops into a bright fawn-orange colour in the ventral (abdominal) area and on the flanks; this is especially so in males during the breeding season. The Mountain Pygmy-possum has fine dense fur, a dark ring around its eyes, and a long, thin, scaly tail with sparse, short hair (Strahan 2002).

The Mountain Pygmy Possum was first discovered as a Pleistocene fossil in the Wombeyan Caves in 1894. It was not discovered as a living species until 1966 when a live animal was found in the University Ski Club lodge at Mt Hotham in the Victorian Alps (Macdonald & Haiblen 2001).

The Mountain Pygmy-possum is the only Australian mammal confined in its distribution to the Australian Alps bioregion (Broome 2001a). It is dependent on winter snow and thus is confined to areas above the winter snowline, approximately 1370 m above sea-level; in NSW it is thought to occur mostly at elevations above 1650 m (NSW NPWS 2002).

The Mountain Pygmy-possum occurs in three disjunct locations across the alpine region in Victoria and NSW. In Victoria this species occurs across Mt Bogong, the Bogong High Plains and Mt Higginbotham (Mansergh et al. 1989); a second, distinct population occurs at Mt Buller (Heinze & Williams 1998). In NSW, a third population is distributed among small patches of habitat in alpine and subalpine areas of Kosciuszko National Park. In Kosciuszko National Park, 40% of the population of Mountain Pygmy-possums occur within the ski resort lease areas, with the largest numbers on the western fall of Mt Townsend and Mt Kosciuszko (Broome et al. 2005).

The current extent of occurrence in NSW is thought to be 240 km², from South Ramshead near Thredbo in the south to Gungartan in the north (Broome et al. unpubl. data cited in NSW NPWS 2002; Caughley 1986).

Evidence from the fossil record indicates that the extent of occurrence is decreasing with the receding snowline; this species is thought to have occurred throughout south-eastern Australia at the height of the last Pleistocene glacial period (ca. 20 000 years BP). Fossils of this species have been found across south-eastern Australia, including in the Wombeyan Caves near Mittagong in the NSW southern highlands (from where it was first described in 1895); Buchan Cave in the east Gippsland region of Victoria and the Jenolan Caves near Oberon and the Blue Mountains (Strahan 2002).

The total area of occupancy is estimated to be less than 7 km², with less than 4 km² in NSW and, in Victoria, less than 2 km² in the Mount Hotham-Mt Higginbotham area and less than 1 km² at Mt Buller (ARMB 2005).

Even though the Mountain Pygmy-possum was once widely distributed, the three current populations have been separated from each other for between 13 000–19 500 years (Mitrovoski et al. 2007a; Osborne et al. 2000). The populations exhibit high levels of genetic divergence and fall into three distinct groups from the northern, central and southern areas of the distribution of this species. Within the central area, there is further genetic fragmentation (Mitrovski et al. 2007a).

While the Mountain Pygmy-possum has been maintained in captivity at Healesville Sanctuary, Victoria and Taronga Zoo, NSW, long-term captive-breeding has been problematic (Heinze et al. 2004; ARMB 2005). In the summer of 2006–07, one male and 10 females from Mt Buller were provided to the Healesville Sanctuary for its captive breeding program (ARMB 2007) and Heinze (unpubl. 2006) also moved two females, carrying second litters over the summer of 2006, to Healesville to improve their chance of survival over winter.

A large amount of surveying for this species has been conducted since the late 1970s (NSW NPWS 2002).

In 1994 the total number of adult Mountain Pygmy-possums was estimated at about 2600, with 1300 adults in Victoria and 1300 in NSW (Broome et al. 2005; Mansergh & Broome 1994). While estimates of population are difficult to make, all subsequent estimates suggest a rapid decline in numbers since 1994.

In 2002, the population across all areas was estimated at 2200 (NSW NPWS 2002) with surveys conducted between 1996 and 2001 revealing that there were about 600 individuals, with approximately 495 adults, remaining in Kosciuszko National Park (Broome et al. 2005).

Heinze and colleagues (2004) put the total adult female popualation at 1600 in 2004. Following declines observed in both Kosciuszko and Mt Buller (Broome, in Beesby 2007) and the 2003 wildfires in the alpine regions, the total population in 2005 was thought to be less than 1600 (ARMB 2005).

The most marked decline in population has been recorded at the most southerly site, Mt Buller, where it was thought to support 300 adult females in 1996. Recent estimates have seen this drop to 150 in 2002 and less than 100 in 2003 and 2004 (ARMB 2005) and as little as 30 adults in 2006–07 (Edwards 2007; Mitrovski et al. 2007b).

The population in the Kosciuszko National Park has also declined (Broome, in Beeby 2007). Since 2000, populations at Charlotte Pass and Mount Blue Cow have undergone rapid declines thought to be due to predation by feral cats (Broome et al. 2005). A trapping survey in December 2006 failed to locate any possums at Mt Townsend, while only four males were recorded at Charlotte Pass. The number of females at Mt Blue Cow has also dropped from 31 to only two (Broome, in Beeby 2007). Only the population at Mt Koscuiszko remained stable with 60 individuals recorded.

The Kosciuszko population is not evenly distributed across its range (Broome et al. 2005) but occurs as a number of metapopulations (NSW NPWS 2002). This means that the population consists of a number of smaller populations that function largely independently but the larger structure is need for the long-term persistence of these populations (NSW NPWS 2002).

Following a serious wildfire in the Alpine region in 2003, it was anticipated that many populations would experience decline and some could even experience local extinction (Heinze 2005). In an analysis of several sites on the Bogong High Plains that had been affected by the wildfire, Mitrovski and colleagues (2007b) report that there has, however, been no consistent reduction in population size between the pre-fire and post-fire samples and that trapping rates and animal captures were consistent with those obtained between 1984 and 2003. They also show, however, that the population at Mt Buller, which was not subject to fire but has been subject to disturbance from ski field development, is in serious decline, both in terms of animals remaining (estimated at between 20 to 30 from an initial estimate in 1996 of 300), the genetic diversity (estimated to be two-thirds lower than the population in 1996) and in the male to female ratio, which may be as low as one male to 22 females.

Since the 1980s, trapping surveys have been used to monitor the status of many local populations comprising the Mt Bogong-Mt Higginbotham population, revealing that some can be as small as a few individuals whilst others may include over 100 individuals fluctuating in size considerably from one year to the next (Heinze 2005).

The metapopulation structure of Mountain Pygmy-possum populations implies that the survival of a population depends on re-population occurring between habitat patches. Large populations are generally less vulnerable to local extinctions and are most important with regard to metapopulation persistence. Prior to 2000, populations at Charlotte Pass and Mt Blue Cow were considered large and stable, with emigration exceeding immigration. Populations such as these were thought likey to act as source populations for surrounding, less stable habitat patches such as those on the Kosciuszko plateau (NSW NPWS 2002). However, populations at Charlotte Pass and Mt Blue Cow have suffered recent declines leading to uncertainty about the future of the species (Broome et al. 2005; Broome in Beeby 2007).

This species exists within two national parks: the Kosciuszko National Park and Victoria's Alpine National Park.

The Mountain Pygmy-possum is the only Australian mammal whose distribution is limited to alpine and subalpine regions where there is a continuous period of snow cover for up to six months (Strahan 2002). High quality habitat for this species is characterised by deep, extensive boulderfields, high elevations, abundant Bogong Moths (Agrostis infusa), and a nearby seed source (Broome 2001a; Mansergh & Broome 1994). These factors influence the quality of nesting, hibernation sites and the abundance of resources. The boulderfields are also used as summer aestivation sites by migratory Bogong Moths, which form a major part of the diet of the Mountain Pygmy-possum (Common 1954; Mansergh et al. 1990; Smith & Broome 1992).

The boulderfields this species occupies were formed during the Pleistocene interglacial periods but the type of rock varies between the Victorian and the NSW populations. NSW boulders are derived from granodiorite while those in Victoria are derived from basalt. It is the latter that supports the higher population density of Mountain Pygmy-possums (Heinze et al. 2004).The Mountain Pygmy-possum prefers deeper boulderfields containing a variety of boulder sizes and reasonable vegetation cover, with higher species diversity (Broome et al. 2005).

Vegetation structure
The shrubby heathland associated with Mountain Pygmy-possum habitat is characterised by the Mountain Plum Pine (Podocarpus lawrencei); the distribution of which is closely correlated with the boulderfields. Other shrubs which grow within or adjacent to the boulderfields include the Snow Beard-heath (Leucopogon montanus), Dusty Daisy-bush (Olearia phlogopappa), Alpine Rice-bush (Pimelia ligustrina), Mountain Baeckea (Baeckea utilis), Alpine Pepper (Tasmannia xerophila) and several Epacris species. Grasses (e.g. Snowgrass (Poa spp.), Ribbony grass (Chionochloa frigida)), sedges and ferns (e.g. Polystichum proliferum) grow in the intervening spaces (Heinze et al. 2004). Species diversity appears important as Caughley (1986) found that in late summer and autumn more Mountain Pygmy-possums were trapped at sites which had a diverse assemblage of shrubs (five shrubs on average but also up to ten species of shrubs) than on sites which had Mountain Plum Pine alone (NSW NPWS 2002). Heinze and Broome (in Heinze et al. 2004) have also observed, however, that some of the highest densities of Mountain Pygmy-possum have been found in boulderfields where little or no heathland or Mountain Plum Pine is present but where Bogong Moths occur in high numbers

Mountain Pygmy-possums occur in areas above the tree line and, in this respect, trees cannot be regarded as an essential component of the habitat. However, where they do occur, the seeds of Snow Gums, Eucalyptus pauciflora, are included in the diet. Trees may also contribute to snow and hydrologic dynamics in habitat areas and provide access points to the snow surface through snow melt circles. Mountain Pygmy-possums have not been recorded in open areas of snowgrass, on cleared ski runs or in single species stands of shrubs such as Kunzea muelleri, Prostanthera cuneata or Hovea purpurea (NSW NPWS 2002).

Retreat and nesting sites
Alpine boulderfields are the preferred habitat for this species because the boulders ameliorate temperature extremes and provide deep insulated winter retreats and protected nesting sites, particularly as temperatures at ground level during winter can remain between 0–2º C. Rock piles and blocks, caused by in situ weathering, are also used by the Mountain Pygmy-possum but generally do not provide the deep boulder deposits that are its preferred habitat. Boulderfields, and large rock piles on high peaks, are also used as summer resting sites by the migratory Bogong Moth, which forms a major part of the diet of the Mountain Pygmy-possum.

Nesting and hibernation sites have also been located in areas where there are no, or only scattered, surface rocks up to 200 m from the main boulderfields. Juveniles, presumably dispersing individuals, have been trapped in heathlands with few or no rocks. Mountain Pygmy-possums, when occupying areas with trees, are known to nest at the base of hollow trees (NSW NPWS 2002).

Both male and female Mountain Pygmy-possums use several nest sites within their home ranges, spending one or more days at each and often returning to the same nest on different occasions (Broome unpubl. data cited in NSW NPWS 2002).

Snow cover and choice of winter retreat site affect the extent of insulation of the retreat site which, in turn, has a signfiicant impact on winter survival rates. If the temperature in the winter retreat site is lower than the critical minimum body temperature, then the metabolism of the hibernating animal increases; this in turn leads to more frequent, energy-expensive arousals and a subsequent decrease in fat reserves needed for winter survival (NSW NPWS 2002).

In the Kosciuszko National Park boulderfields, the Mountain Pygmy-possum associates with the Broad-toothed Rat (Mastacomys fuscus); Dusky Antechinus (Antechinus swainsonii); Bush Rat (Rattus fuscipes) and, to a lesser extent, Agile Antechinus (Antechinus agilis) (Broome et al. 2005). The Broad-toothed rat is listed as vulnerable in NSW under the NSW Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.

Life expectancy
Typically, annual survival is higher for females than males on high quality sites and sex ratios are most highly skewed on the highest quality habitat (Mansergh & Broome 1994; NSW NPWS 2002) but little difference in survival or sex ratios has been observed on other lower quality sites (NSW NPWS 2002). Longevity also appears to differ between the sexes; the oldest female recorded was 12 years old, more than twice the age of the oldest male trapped, at five years old (Strahan 2002).

Natural mortality
The peak period for mortality appears to be around weaning as sex ratios were approximately 1:1 during the pouch phase but declined to between 1:4 and 1:6 as breeding adults (Mansergh & Scotts 1990). Survival over winter differed little between the sexes, suggesting that male mortality was greater during snow-free months. Winter mortality was, however, higher for adults than for juveniles (NSW NPWS 2002).

Recruitment of both sexes and survival of females were strongly density-dependent at all study sites in Kosciuszko National Park. However, the time of formation of permanent winter snow cover to depths greater than 50 cm, the duration of snow cover and the time of snow melt also influenced survival and recruitment. Survival and recruitment were reduced in years of very long snow cover duration and late melt; in years of very short snow cover duration and early melt and when extreme temperatures were experienced before the formation of insulating snow cover in early winter (Broome unpubl. data cited in NSW NPWS 2002).

Nest construction
A Mountain Pygmy-possum nest was discovered during road works within a boulderfield. The nest was spherical, 20 cm in diameter and constructed mostly of moss. The exact location of the nest within the boulders could not be determined as the nest was dislodged during its excavation (Heinze & Olejniczak 2000).

Nesting habits and habitat
High altitude boulderfields with loose aggregations of boulders, a southerly aspect and the presence of Bogong Moths, are the preferred habitat of females (Mansergh & Broome 1994; Mansergh & Scotts 1990). Females remain in these food-rich boulderfields whilst males disperse after the breeding season and when the pouch young are in the nest (NSW NPWS 2002). It is believed that males are consequently more vulnerable to predation and have lower quality food resources at this time (Mansergh & Broome 1994).

Between November and February, females only spend time at nest sites during the night when they have pouch young and nestling young. As autumn approaches, both sexes spend an increasing amount of time inactive in nests at night. By late May to early June, 70% of their time is spent at the nest sites, with the heavier individuals increasingly undergoing bouts of torpor (Broome 2001, unpubl. data cited in NSW NPWS 2002).

Breeding season
The breeding season (mating, gestation, pouch life and nestling phase) is from October to December at Mt Higginbotham and young disperse from January to April (Mansergh & Scotts 1990). At Kosciuszko the cycle is a month later, with breeding commencing in October (Mansergh & Broome 1994).

Litter size and juvenile activities
Typically, a single litter is born in spring in Victoria but in NSW litters may arrive as late as summer, depending on when the snow melts. Births are highly synchronised and litter size varies from three to four. Two litters can occur if the first is lost or snow melt is very early. Successive litters have been produced in captivity (NSW NPWS 2002) and two litters in the one season have been observed at Mt Buller (ARMB 2005).

Young live in the pouch for four to five weeks and then spend another four to five weeks in the nest with the mother, who continues to suckle them. They are then weaned at nine to ten weeks (Kerle 1984; Mansergh & Scotts 1990). Juveniles trapped on Mt Blue Cow in late January weighed on average between 15–22 g. They gained weight rapidly during autumn and reached 40–60 g by May but did not reach adult weight until the end of their second summer (Broome 1992). Most juveniles breed at one year of age, after their first spring (NSW NPWS 2002).

Mountain Pygmy-possums primarily feed on the protein-rich migratory Bogong Moth (Heinze 2005; Mansergh et al. 1990; Smith & Broome 1992) but they also consume caterpillars, millipedes, beetles, spiders and hard seeds (Strahan 2002). Nevertheless, it is the availability of the Bogong Moth in the lead up to winter that is crucial to individuals gaining sufficient fat reserves for winter survival (Geisner & Broome 1991; Heinze 2005; Kortner & Greiser 1998).

The seeds and fruits of heathland shrubs (including Mountain Plum Pine and Snow Beard-heath) are important food sources in the late summer and autumn (Strahan 2002).

Captive Mountain Pygmy-possums are known to cache food, burying seeds that they may, or may not, excavate to eat during periods of food shortage (Strahan 2002).

Preparation for hibernation during the winter months occurs after breeding; the body weight of animals approximately doubles before the onset of winter snowfalls. Adult females enter hibernation as early as February at Mt Higginbotham but as late as April in NSW. Juveniles and males are active for an additonal one to two months while those at the lowest altitudes enter hibernation as late as May or early June. Hibernation can last up to seven months in adults and five to six months in juveniles (NSW NPWS 2002). Reduced food availability during the months preceeding hibernation can lead to stress and starvation (Broome, in Beeby 2007).

Mountain Pygmy-possums are largely restricted to discrete patches of habitat but individuals often travel long distances between patches to meet their daily or seasonal requirements. Both sexes have been observed making nightly excursions over distances of 1 km from low to high elevations to prey on Bogong Moths, which congregate on the high peaks between November and March (Broome 2001a, b).

Males are generally more mobile than females, frequently travelling up to 3 km in a night; for example, from Blue Cow to Guthega and back. Males, and some females (generally juveniles), were also observed moving between the two Paralyser trapping sites (1 km) and males often travelled between the Charlotte Pass and Summit Road trapping areas (2 km) (Broome 2001a, b).

In late December to mid-January, at the time pouch young are left in the nest, many of the males leave the habitat of females and Mountain Pygmy-possum populations become, to a large extent, sexually segregated. Observations at Mt Blue Cow revealed that females and their young remain in high quality 'breeding habitats', mostly at high elevation on southerly aspects, while males reduced their home range sizes and stayed at the lower elevational limits of their ranges or moved to more northerly or westerly aspects. At Charlotte Pass and Paralyser, where there was little elevational gradient, these 'dispersal habitats' consisted of shallower or smaller boulderfields on more northerly or westerly aspects. Juvenile dispersal, mostly by males, follows a similar pattern in late February to March. Much of this movement is a seasonal migration but lifetime dispersal distances of at least 6 km have been recorded (Broome 1992; Körtner & Geiser 1998; Walter 1996).

When Mountain Pygmy-possums cross between boulderfield patches they travel through areas of shrub cover. Radio tracking on Mt Blue Cow (Broome 1992, 2001a) and studies at Mt Hotham (Mansergh & Scotts 1989) have shown that roads and open ski runs can inhibit or prevent these movements. Movements between boulderfield areas are mostly restricted to the snow-free season. During the period of deep winter snow cover, radio-tracked Mountain Pygmy-possums seldom left their nest sites. On the few occasions when individuals were observed moving, they travelled through the boulderfields or shrubs under the snow. Juveniles appeared to move more than adults, but usually not more than 20 to 30 m from the nest. The longest distance observed was 80 m. These movements were possibly related to the need to access food caches. Individuals also occasionally changed hibernation sites during winter, possibly in response to changes in air temperature (Broome 1992; Körtner & Geiser 1998; Walter 1996).

Home Range
The size of a home range varies considerably between males and females and depends on the distribution and quality of habitat. Generally, home ranges are smaller in high quality habitat, such as the highly productive, basalt boulder-heaths at Mt Higginbotham, Victoria, than the granite boulder-heaths of NSW (Strahan 2002).

Male home ranges:
Male Mountain Pygmy-possums have extensively overlapping home ranges and frequently share nest sites, with up to six individuals using the same nest during the late breeding season (Broome 2001a). At the time pouch young are old enough to be left in the nest, many of the males leave the habitats of females and reduce their home ranges; effectively staying away from prime female habitat (NSW NPWS 2002). Although they are not territorial, a dominance hierarchy and competition for sexually receptive females may occur in the better habitats. Nest sharing and the continuation of close association between males and sharing of nest after they migrate indicates long-term bonds. This is unusual in male small mammals (Broome 2001a).

Female home ranges:
Females appear to be territorial with males and other females at nesting and nursery sites. Females do, however, have overlapping foraging ranges (Broome 2001a; Kerle 1984, Mansergh & Scotts 1990) and often form kin clusters (mothers, daughters, granddaughters) in high quality habitats (Broome 2001a). Females may remain in their high quality habitats for the duration of their lives (Strahan 2002).

At Mt Blue Cow (NSW), some females occupy prime positions near the peak and remain sedentary in small (0.12 ha) home ranges but others, who nest in lower slopes, have larger home ranges (2.72 ± 1.8 ha) and travel nightly to the peak to forage (these trips cease during winter) (Broome 1992; Mansergh & Scotts 1986). By comparison, however, adult females in high quality habitat at Mount Higginbotham in Victoria have much smaller (0.06 ha) home ranges which overlap and the densities can be as high as 116 individuals per hectare (compared with 6.5 individuals per hectare in NSW) (Strahan 2002).

Mountain Pygmy-possums are mostly nocturnal (NSW NPWS 2002); trapping surveys should, therefore, be conducted at night.

During surveys of the Mt Bogon-Mt Higginbotham population between November 2003 and February 2004, a trapping survey was conducted using Elliott Type A collapsible aluminium traps (for live capture). Traps were baited with walnuts to attract the animals and then wrapped in open ended plastic to provide protection from bad weather. A small amount of nesting material (woodwool) was added inside the traps. Traps were then placed in a horizontal position within the gaps between boulders or amongst vegetation. Trapping surveys targetting adults are most effective early in the breeding season (November - December) (Broome et al. 2005). Traps should be set during early evening and trapped animals processed systematically each day before midday (Heinze 2005). As lactating females suckle young in the nest from late December to January, frequent trapping should not be carried out during this time as it may affect the survival of the young (Broome et al. 2005).

If scat collection is required, traps can be baited with chocolate to ensure scats are not compromised by the presence of walnuts (Broome et al. 2005). However, chocolate is not as attactive a bait as walnuts and may result in reducted trapping success (Broome et al. 2005).

The Australian Museum Business Service (2004) recommend the following survey techniques to detect the presence of the Mountain Pygmy-possum in areas of up to 5 ha in size:

  • daytime searches for potentially suitable habitat resources, such as boulder scree with associated alpine heathland;
  • collection of predator scats, owl casts or remains, targeting predatory bird/mammal nests/dens;
  • hair sampling device surveys; and
  • Elliott A/E trapping surveys (with traps baited with walnuts):
    • in areas of suitable alpine habitat, use four rather than two survey sites per 5 ha area, and
    • set 25 traps in each survey site, spaced at 5 m intervals in boulderfield and adjacent alpine heathland habitats.

An additional consideration for survey design is that Mountain Pygmy-possums sexually segregate within the boulderfield habitat, with the large adult females occupying the preferred breeding habitat closest to the boulderfield, and adult males and juveniles found at lower elevations (Broome 2001 cited in AMBS 2004). The location of migrating individuals at lower elevations, particularly juveniles, after February needs to be taken into account when establishing survey sites (AMBS 2004).

Habitat destruction
Loss and degradation of habitat are the greatest potential threats to the continued viability of the Mountain Pygmy-possum. Habitat loss and marginalisation are expected to increase with climate change (Whetton 1998). In particular, there is growing evidence for a long-term global warming trend. This warming is expected to profoundly affect the extent and duration of snow cover in the Australian Alps and, with it, the ecology of alpine-dependent species, including the Mountain Pygmy-possum.

Climate change
Increased temperatures can affect Mountain Pygmy-possums by disrupting their winter hibernation and waking them before the arrival of their main food, the Bogong Moth. This was well illustrated in 2006, when the extremely warm spring resulted in early and rapid snow melt in Kosciuszko National Park. This, in turn, encouraged the Mountain Pygmy-possums to emerge from their winter hibernation a month before the arrival of Bogong Moths (Broome, in Beeby 2007). When the annual migration of Bogong Moths did arrive in the Australin Alps in 2006, their numbers were reduced due to drought conditions in their breeding areas of western NSW and Queensland. Without a plentiful supply of Bogong Moths, rich with fat and protein, the Mountain Pygmy-possum populations can suffer increased stress and starvation (Booth, in Beeby 2007).

Increased fire frequency linked to climate change could also lead to the reduction of the Mountain Pygmy-possum's secondary food source, the slow-growing Mountain Plum Pine.

Snow sports and the development of snow sport facilities
Human activities at ski resorts may negatively affect the habitat and activities of the Mountain Pygmy-possum and may even cause individual fatalities. Recreational snow sports and the operation of snow grooming machinery and snow mobiles, particularly at the start of winter, can compress snow. Snow compression can decrease insulation and remove the space within and beneath the snow (the subnivean zone) that the possums use as corridors between hibernation and food cache sites. Snow compression can also affect the health of the underlying vegetation. The operation of machinery and snow mobiles can create noise and vibrations which in turn may arouse the Mountain Pygmy-possum from hibernation, draining the energy reserves of the possum (NSW NPWS 2002).

Mitrovsiki and colleagues (2007b) report that genetic diversity in the Mountain Pygmy-possum population at Mt Buller has declined significantly since 1996 (heterozygosity in 2004 at one site at Mt Buller was only one third of its value in 1996) and suggest that ski development encroachment on habitat represents a greater threat to populations than rare natural catastrophes such as the wildfires of 2003. The most immediate threat to the Mountain Pygmy-possum is infrastructure development rather than natural catastrophes or climate change (Weeks cited in UM 2007) and the Mt Buller Mountain Pygmy-possum Recovery Plan (ARMB 2005) also identifies the loss, degradation and fragmentation of possum habitat on the southern slopes, due to ski development, as the key reason for the population's decline at Mt Buller.

A number of native carnivores, such as quolls, snakes and owls, are potential predators of the Mountain Pygmy-possum. Foxes and feral cats are known predators. In a study over 14 summer months at Koscuiszko National Park, the remains of Mountain Pygmy-possums were found in eight of 1159 fox scats (Green & Osborne 1981). No evidence of winter predation by foxes has been recorded (Bubela et al. 1998; Green & Osborne 1981). The nature of the boulderfields used by Mountain Pygmy-possums is regarded as offering some protection from fox predation though their movement within and between boulderfields may make them highly susceptible to feral cat predation (NSW NPWS2002). Broome (in Beesby 2007) reports that 30 feral cats were caught at Mt Buller during a trapping program.

Foxes, wild dogs and feral cats have been observed in Mountain Pygmy-possum management areas since the 2003 alpine wildfires (Heinze 2005).

Exotic species
Development in alpine areas increases the risk of introduction and spread of pest plants and animals. Pest plants can significantly reduce the biodiversity values of alpine and sub-alpine areas. Rabbits are sometimes abundant in the sub-alpine areas of Kosckiuskzo National Park, particularly around the ski resorts. At Charlotte Pass, for example, they have been common near the sewage treatment plant. Rabbits may damage native vegetation and attract predators, particularly cats, to the area. Hares may also have a similar impact while black rats (Rattus rattus) and house mice (Mus musculus) are potential competitors (NSW NPWS 2002) for habitat and food.

Litter and garbage
Litter and garbage are significant issues in areas of Mountain Pygmy-possum habitat, particularly in resort lease areas and the summit area of Mt Kosciuszko which receives heavy use. One Mountain Pygmy-possum was found drowned in a plastic garbage bin in the main boulderfields at Charlotte Pass (NSW NPWS 2002). Uncovered garbage attracts predators such as foxes and cats to resort areas and provides a supplementary winter food supply to predator populations (Bubela 1995; NSW NPWS 2002).

Rat traps and poison
Occassionally Mountain Pygmy-possums enter buildings at ski resorts at Mt Blue Cow, Charlotte Pass and Thredbo. Here they are susceptible to rat traps and poison such as 'Ratsack' which have been used (illegally) to control rats and mice in these buildings (NSW NPWS 2002). A male Mountain Pygmy-possum was killed in a rat trap at Mt Blue Cow in 1988 (Broome pers. obs. cited in NSW NPWS 2002).

Threats to Bogong Moths
Bogong Moths form a major part of the diet of the Mountain Pygmy-possum during spring and summer. In areas there is little shrubby vegetation (e.g. Mt Kosciuszko and Mt Townsend) they may continue to be the prime source of food through the autumn fattening period (Broome unpubl. data cited in NSW NPWS 2002; Smith & Broome 1992). Threats to the Bogong Moth represent, therefore, an indirect but very substantial threat to the Mountain Pygmy-possum. Threats to the Bogong Moth include:

  • loss of inland native grassland;
  • use of agricultural chemicals on pastures and crops;
  • climatic variability; and
  • interference with the Moth's navigation system (eg artificial UV light; city lights, storms).


Wildfire in alpine areas represents both an immediate threat to the Mountain Pygmy-possums and a longer term threat as it can affect ongoing food supply and availability of high quality habitat.

In January and February 2003, a severe lightning storm resulted in a number of individual fires in some of Victoria's remotest mountain areas. These individual fires merged together and burnt around 1.3 million ha. The fire resulted in widespread damage to Mountain Pygmy-possum habitat and surrounding vegetation in between Mt Bogong and Mt Higginbotham (Heinze 2005).

A post-fire survey for the species indicated the preferred habitat of 14 of the 15 recognised local populations was burnt to varying levels, with approximately half the total area of the preferred habitat being burnt. Only the population at Mt Buller was not affected by the wildfires (Heinze 2005).

In addition to a loss of available habitat for foraging and nesting, the movement and dispersal ability of the species has been restricted. The loss of vegetation cover had an immediate effect on the availability of cacheable food items such as seeds of the Mountain Plum Pine and other fruits and berries of the Rambling Bramble (Rubus parvifolia) and Snow Beard-heath (Leucopogon monatanus). Many of the alpine heath species that were burnt during the fire are slow growing and the re-establishment of protective cover provided by shrubs will take a number of years. For example, the slow growing and fire-sensitive Mountain Plum Pine will take decades, if not centuries, to recover fully from fire (Heinze 2005). Habitat fragmentation, caused by the fire, is also likely to further exacerbate the female bias that Mountain Pygmy-possum populations naturally demonstrate (Mansergh & Scotts 1989). The loss of cover of slow growing heaths may result in increased predation of males that are migrating and dispersing juveniles (Heinze 2005).

While Heinze (2005) suggested lower survivorship, lower than normal body weight, reduced breeding success and lower recruitment for the post-fire years (Heinze 2005), more recent research has revealed that most populations have recovered from the fires. Mitrovski and colleagues (2007b) have shown that populations on the Bogong High Plains, including some which had lost up to 80% of suitable habitat, had recovered quickly from the fire, with population census estimates at pre-fire levels within a season and no indication of adverse impacts on the genetic diversity of the populations. In contrast, this study showed that a population at Mt Buller, not affected by the fire but subject to disturbance from ski resort development, has suffered a significant decline in numbers, in genetic diversity and in the male to female sex ratio.

The recovery objectives for this species proposed by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NSW NPWS 2002) in its recovery plan for this species include the following:

  • Complete mapping and reassessment of the total population size of Mountain Pygmy-possums and the distribution and quality of their habitat in Kosciuszko National Park;

  • Protect all existing Mountain Pygmy-possum populations and habitat;

  • Restore movement corridors and habitat;

  • Control feral predators and exotic species;

  • Monitor Mountain Pygmy-possum populations and habitat;

  • Modelling and research; and

  • Promote community awareness.

As a response to the 2003 fires, Heinze (2005) suggested that the control of feral predators may be extra beneficial for fire-affected Mountain Pygmy-possum populations until some of the protective cover required by the species is re-established via the regeneration of shrubs. Heinze (2005) also suggests that future population monitoring, weed control and habitat enhancement would also aid the species' recovery.

The Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Management Board, in conjunction with the Victorian DSE, released a five year Recovery Plan for the Mountain Pygmy-possum at Mt Buller in 2005 (ARMB 2005). The plan focuses 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.

While the levels of genetic variation within populations are high (with the exception of the Mt Buller population), all three major population regions should be considered as separate gene pools and management of populations should take into account the low gene flow between populations (Mitrovski et al. 2007a).

Breeding/Feeding Biology
Heinze and Olejniczak (2000); Mansergh and colleagues (1990); Mansergh and Broome (1994); Mansergh and Scotts (1990) and Smith and Broome (1992).

Broome and Geiser (1995); Geiser and Broome (1991); Kerle (1984); Körtner and colleagues (1998); Mansergh and Scotts (1986) and Walter (1996).

Habitat and Population Biology
Broome (2001a,b); Caughley (1986); Gullan and Norris (1984); Heinze and Williams (1998); Heinze (2005); Mansergh and Scotts (1989) and Osborne and colleagues (2000).

Broome (1992); Mansergh and Scotts (1989); Mansergh (1984); McCarthy and Broome (2000) and NPWS (2002).

Genetic analysis
Mitrovski and colleagues (2007a); Mitrovski and colleagues (2007b) and Osborne and colleagues (2000)

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service 2002, Recovery Plan for the Mountain Pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus), NSW NPWS, Hurstville (NSW).

Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment 2003 (Vic DSE 2003), Flora & Fauna Action Statement #2 Mountain Pygmy-possum Burramys parvus.

Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board 2005, Recovery Plan for the Mountain Pygmy-possum Burramys parvus on Mt Buller, Victoria.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Agriculture and Aquaculture:Livestock Farming and Grazing:Habitat loss and modification due to clearance of native vegetation and pasture improvements The Impact of Global Warming on the Distribution of Threatened Vertebrates (ANZECC 1991) (Dexter, E.M., A.D. Chapman & J.R. Busby, 1995) [Report].
Climate Change and Severe Weather:Habitat Shifting and Alteration:Global warming and associated warming of alpine areas Burramys parvus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cr) [Internet].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Ecosystem Degradation:Decline in habitat quality Burramys parvus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cr) [Internet].
Ecosystem/Community Stresses:Indirect Ecosystem Effects:Restricted geographical distribution (area of occupancy and extent of occurrence) Burramys parvus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cr) [Internet].
Human Intrusions and Disturbance:Recreational Activities:Disturbance, especially from human recreational activities and development Burramys parvus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cr) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Lepus capensis (Brown Hare) Burramys parvus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cr) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or habitat degradation Oryctolagus cuniculus (Rabbit, European Rabbit) Burramys parvus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cr) [Internet].
Mountain Pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus); A Draft Recovery Plan under the Commonwealth ESPA 1992 (Flora and Fauna Program, Department of Natural Resources & Environment, Victoria, 1999) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Vulpes vulpes (Red Fox, Fox) Burramys parvus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cr) [Internet].
Mountain Pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus); A Draft Recovery Plan under the Commonwealth ESPA 1992 (Flora and Fauna Program, Department of Natural Resources & Environment, Victoria, 1999) [State Recovery Plan].
The diet of foxes, Vulpes vulpes (L.), in relation to abundance of prey above the winter snowline in New South Wales. Australian Wildlife Research. 8: 349-360. (Green, K. & Osborne, W.S., 1981) [Journal].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Felis catus (Cat, House Cat, Domestic Cat) Burramys parvus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cr) [Internet].
Mountain Pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus); A Draft Recovery Plan under the Commonwealth ESPA 1992 (Flora and Fauna Program, Department of Natural Resources & Environment, Victoria, 1999) [State Recovery Plan].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Competition and/or predation Rattus rattus (Black Rat, Ship Rat) Burramys parvus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cr) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species:Grazing, competition and/or habitat degradation Mus musculus (House Mouse) Burramys parvus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cr) [Internet].
Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:Invasive and Other Problematic Species and Genes:pest animal control Burramys parvus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cr) [Internet].
Natural System Modifications:Fire and Fire Suppression:Inappropriate and/or changed fire regimes (frequency, timing, intensity) Burramys parvus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cr) [Internet].
Pollution:Garbage and Solid Waste:Dumping of household and industrial waste Burramys parvus in Species Profile and Threats (SPRAT) database (Department of the Environment and Heritage, 2006cr) [Internet].

Australian Museum Business Services (AMBS) (2004). The Provision of Data for National Fauna Survey Standards: Non-flying Mammals Draft Report for the Department of the Environment and Heritage. Page(s) 248-250. East Sydney (NSW), AMBS.

Beeby, R. (2007). Plight of the Possums. Canberra Times 20 February. [Online]. Available from:

Broome, C., Dawson, M., Ford, F., Green, K., Little, D. & McElhinney, N. (2005). Re-assessment of Mountain Pygmy-possum Burramys parvus population size and distribution of habitat in Kosciuszko National Park. NSW Department of Environment and Conservation.

Broome, L.C. & F. Geiser (1995). Hibernation in free-living mountain pygmy-possums, Burramys parvus (Marsupialia: Burramyidae). Australian Journal of Zoology. 43:373-379.

Broome, L.S. (1992). Ecology and management of the Mountain Pygmy-possum, B. parvus in Kosciuszko National Park Consultants report to the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Sydney, NSW. NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service, Sydney, NSW.

Broome, L.S. (2001a). Density, home range, seasonal movements and habitat use of the mountain pygmy-possum Burramys parvus (Marsupalia: Burramyidae) at Mount Blue Cow, Kosciuszko National Park. Austral Ecology. 26:275-292.

Broome, L.S. (2001b). Intersite differences in population demography of Mountain Pygmy-possum Burramys parvus Broom (1987-1998): Implications for metapopulation conservation in Kosciuszko National Park'. Biological Conservation. 102:309-323.

Bubela, Tania M., Dickman, Christopher R. & Newsome, Alan E. (1998). Diet and winter foraging behaviour of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in alpine and subalpine New South Wales. Australian Mammalogy. 20:321-330.

Caughley, J. (1986). Distribution and abundance of the mountain pygmy-possum, Burramys parvus Broom, in Kosciusko National Park. Australian Wildlife Research. 13:507-516.

Common, I.F.B. (1954). A study of the ecology of the adult Bogong Moth, agrotis infusa (Boisd.) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), with special reference to its behaviour during migration and aestivation. Australian Journal of Zoology. 2:223-263.

Department of Sustainability and Environment, (VIC DSE) (2003). Mountain Pygmy-possum, Burramys parvus, Flora & Fauna Guarantee Action Statement #2. [Online]. Melbourne, The State of Victoria, Department of Sustainability and Environment. accessed on 28/4/2008 Available from:$File/002+Mountain+Pygmy-possum+1991.pdf.

Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities (DSEWPaC) (2011j). Survey guidelines for Australia's threatened mammals. EPBC Act survey guidelines 6.5. [Online]. EPBC Act policy statement: Canberra, ACT: DSEWPAC. Available from:

Edwards, L (2007). Baby, it's cold outside - but not enough for this endangered "baby". The Age June 25. [Online]. Available from: viewed 14/4/2008.

Geiser, F. & Broome, L.S. (1991). Hibernation in the mountain pygmy possum Burramys parvus (Marsupialia). Journal of Zoology (London). 223:593-602.

Green, K. & Osborne, W.S. (1981). The diet of foxes, Vulpes vulpes (L.), in relation to abundance of prey above the winter snowline in New South Wales. Australian Wildlife Research. 8: 349-360.

Gullan, P & Norris, K (1984). The habitat of Burramys parvus (Broom) in Victoria. In: Smith, A & Hume, I D , eds. Possums and gliders. Page(s) 417-421. Surrey Beatty & Sons Pty Ltd, Canberra.

Heinze, D., Broome, L., & Mansergh, I. (2004). A review of the ecology and conservation of the mountain pygmy-possum Burramys parvus. In: Goldingay, RL., Jackson, SM., ed. The Biology of Australian Possums and Gliders. Page(s) 254-267. Chipping Norton, NSW Surrey Beatty and Sons Pty Ltd.

Heinze, D.A. (2005). Assessment of the Habitat and Populations of the Mountain Pygmy-possum Burramys parvus, in Victoria Following the Alpine Wildfires of 2003. Unpublished.

Heinze, D.A. (2006). Monitoring of the Mountain Pygmy-possum population within the Mount Buller Alpine Resort, November 2005 & January-February 2006 Prepared for the Mount Buller and Mount Stirling Resort Management Board. Unpublished Report for ARMB.

Heinze, D.A. & Olejniczak, A.M. (2000). First observations of the mountain pygmy-possum Burramys parvus nesting in the wild. Australian Mammalogy. 22:65-67.

Heinze, Dean & Williams, Lance (1998). The discovery of the mountain pygmy-possum Burramys parvus on Mount Buller, Victoria . Victorian Naturalist. 115:132-134.

Körtner, Gerhard & Geiser, Fritz (1998). Ecology of natural hibernation in the marsupial mountain pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus). Oecologia. 113:170-178.

Kerle, J. (1984). Growth and development of B. parvus in captivity. In: AP Smith and ID Hume, eds. Possums and Gliders. Australian Mammal Society Sydney.

Macdonald, P & Haiblen, J. (2001). Mountains of Science Vol 1: a thematic interpretation strategy for the scientific sites of alpine heritage in the Australian Alps Report to the Australian Alps Liason Committee. [Online]. Canberra Department of Environment and Heritage. Available from:

Mansergh, I, Baxter, B, Scotts, D, Brady, T & Jolley, D (1990). Diet of the mountain pygmy-possum, Burramys parvus (Marsupialia: Burramyidae) and other small mammals in the alpine environment at Mt Higginbotham, Victoria . Australian Mammalogy. 13:167-177.

Mansergh, I. & Scotts, D. (1990). Aspects of the life history and breeding biology of the mountain pygmy-possum, Burramys parvus, (Marsupialia: Burramyidae) in alpine Victoria. Australian Mammalogy. 13:179-191.

Mansergh, I., P. Kelly & D. Scotts (1989). Management strategy and guidelines for the conservation of the mountain pygmy-possum, (Burramys parvus) in Victoria Environmental Research Technical Report. Arthur Rylah Institute.

Mansergh, I.M. & Scotts, D.J. (1986). Winter occurrence of the mountain pigmy possum, Burramys parvus (Broom) (Marsupialia: Burramyidae), on Mt Higginbotham, Victoria. Australian Mammalogy. 9:35-42.

Mansergh, I.M. & Scotts, D.J. (1989). Habitat continuity and social organization of the mountain pygmy-possum restored by tunnel. Journal of Wildlife Management. 53:701-707.

Mansergh, Ian & Broome, Linda (1994). The mountain pygmy-possum of the Australian Alps. NSW Uni Press, Kensington, NSW.

McCarthy, C.M.A. & Broome, L.S. (2000). A method for validating stochastic models of population viability: a case study of the mountain pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus). Journal of Animal Ecology. 69:599-607.

Mitrovski, P., Heinze, D;, Broome, L. Hoffmann, A. and Weeks, R. (2007a). High levels of variation despite genetic fragmentation in populations of the endangered mountain pygmy-possum, Burramys parvus, in alpine Australia. Molecular Ecology. 16:75-87. Blackwell Publishing.

Mitrovski, P., Hoffmann, A.A., Heinze, D.A. and Weeks, A.R (2007b). Rapid loss of genetic variation in an endangered possum. Biology Letters. 4, No. 1:134-138. The Royal Society.

Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Alpine Resort Management Board (ARMB) (2005). Recovery Plan for the Mountain Pygmy-Possum Burramys Parvus on Mt Buller, Victoria.

Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Resorts Management Board (ARMB) (2007). Mt Buller and Mt Stirling Resorts: Environmental Management Plan. [Online]. Available from: viewed 14 April 2008.

NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (2002). Recovery Plan for the Mountain Pygmy-Possum (Burramys Parvus). [Online]. Available from:

Osborne, M.J., Norman, J.A., Christidis, L. & Murray, N.D. (2000). Genetic distinctness of isolated populations of an endangered marsupial, the mountain pygmy-possum, Burramys parvus . Molecular Ecology. 9:609-613.

Smith, A.P. & Broome, L. (1992). The effects of season, sex and habitat on the diet of the mountain pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus). Wildlife Research. 19:755-768.

Strahan, R., ed. (2002). The Mammals of Australia, second edition. Sydney Australian Museum/Reed New Holland.

University of Melbourne (UM) (2007). New study finds endangered mountain pygmy possum threatened by ski resort development Media Release 26 October. [Online]. Available from: viewed 25/3/2008.

Walter, A.J. (1996). The Ecology of Hibernating Mountain Pygmy-possum Burramys parvus in Kosciuszko National Park. Hons. Thesis. University of Canberra, Australia.

Whetton, P. (1998). Climate change impacts on the spatial extent of snow cover in the Australian Alps. Green, K, ed. In Snow a Natural History: An Uncertain Future. Page(s) 195-206. Chipping Norton Surrey Beatty & Sons.

EPBC Act email updates can be received via the Communities for Communities newsletter and the EPBC Act newsletter.

This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Burramys parvus in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: Accessed Fri, 25 Apr 2014 12:34:20 +1000.