Extinction can be a pretty devastating situation for organic beings.
Just imagine hundreds of years of passing down genetics only to have your species completely wiped off the face of the earth.
We thought the pygmy possums became extinct as a result of a bushfire. However, recent discoveries showed that the species has resurfaced thanks to the help of wildlife officials.
The announcement was made by the Aussie conservation group, Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife, which was able to observe an actual pygmy possum in the wild.
The pygmy possum was thought to be extinct for the last year or so, ever since the Australian bushfires in 2019-2020. These bushfires proved to be catastrophic and caused so much damage, in fact, that it nearly destroyed about 50% of the entire Kangaroo Island.
Luckily, these little guys are getting a second chance at life.
“The status of the little pygmy possum (Cercartetus lepidus) was unknown pre-2020 bushfires on #kangarooisland. With most of its habitat severely burnt, we are happy to have detected the species for the first time since the fires in the largest unburnt patch,” said Pat Hodgens, a fauna ecologist, on Twitter. This was the first announcement marking the return of the species.
These little critters are adorable!
Their little button snouts are irresistibly cute to match their droopy ears. It’s incredible how petite these little fellas are. They’re about the size of one’s finger!
These marsupials are divided into two main groups: the genus Burramys and the genus Cercatetus. They dwell and inhabit places like Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia.
While the pygmies may seem like they are regional to that area, they can be found in a variety of landscapes, such as dense rainforests, wet and dry sclerophyll forests, mallee scrub, woodlands, and coastal wetlands.
While males tend to operate more by themselves, it’s important to note that the nesting grounds and living territories of these furry critters can overlap and typically be communal.
Like many other marsupials, pygmys are nocturnal. Their diets typically focus on nectar, pollen from eucalypts, and banksias. If flowers become hard to salvage, there’s nothing to worry about. The little guys are also fond of fruit, seeds, and insects.
Where do these little guys hide?
For protection from predators, the pygmy possums take shelter in tree hollows during light hours. When the temperature starts to drop down, they roll up into a little ball to conserve as much warmth and energy as possible.
“There’s only really been 113 formal records of the species (ever on Kangaroo Island). So certainly not very common and, obviously, the bushfires burnt through much of that habitat that species had, but we were certainly hopeful that we would find them,” Pat Hodgens commented.
The pygmy possums weren’t the only species to benefit from rediscovery. Others such as the tammar wallaby and southern brown bandicoot join the list of more than 20 various wildlife species that have been recently brought back from the extinction list.
Let’s not forget this cute Bibron’s toadlet!
“(We’ll) do everything we can to protect them to ensure that they hang around during this pretty critical time,” said Hodgens. “It’s very important now because it is kind of like the last refuge for a lot of these species that really rely on very old long, unburned vegetation.”
People have been raving about the recent findings and are absolutely floored by what they’ve seen. Their reactions pretty much describe our thoughts in a nutshell.
There you have it: more evidence to believe 2020 is one big conspiracy theory. Despite the crappy year for most of us, it’s fantastic to receive such great news of life springing back up again for these wildlife animals.
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