The Mountain Pygmy Possum lives in the Australian alps, where the ski industry has been growing since the mid 1950's. Leveling and grooming of land for ski trails has greatly affected the amount of available habitat for B. parvus. While B. parvus oftens makes its home in ski lodge foundations, the dispersal of males to and from the natal site has become increasingly difficult. Also problematic is the destruction of trees and shrubs, which B. parvus uses for food. Sufficient field data were collected in 1979 by Ken Norris, an Australian zoologist, and his associates to place a threatened label on B. parvus. A debate between tourism economists and wildlife conservationists soon developed (Broome and Mansergh 1994). Since these debates, measures have been taken to decrease the amount of habitat fragmentation and destruction by the ski industry. For the B. parvus habitats in established ski resorts, underground tunnels with simulated B. parvus habitat substrate have been constructed to aid in dispersal between intact habitat and ski resort habitat (Mansergh and Scotts 1992). These tunnels have become respected at the ski resorts by tourists and government officials alike. Future management plans to save B. parvus include protecting undestroyed lands and buffer lands surrounding the ski areas, continuing to devise tunneling systems for already affected B. parvus populations, monitoring effects of snow grooming on B. parvus habitats and populations, and making the public more aware of the vulnerability of this animal (Broome and Mansergh 1994).
The present habitat of B. parvus is less than 10 square kilometers. The present population of B. parvus is no more than 2600 adults (Strahan 1995).
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: critically endangered
No one has provided updates yet.