The Mountain Pygmy-possum Burramys parvus was first described from a fossil found in Wombeyan Caves, central-eastern New South Wales in 1895, with further fossils located in Buchan Caves in eastern Victoria and Jenolan Caves in central-eastern New South Wales (Broom 1896; Wakefield 1960; Hope 1982). In August 1966 a living individual was located in the University Ski Lodge on Mt Higginbotham in the Victorian Alps (Ride 1970; Dixon 1971). The first discovery of the species in New South Wales was an individual trapped in Kosciuszko National Park in early 1970 (Calaby et al. 1971). Over the next three decades Burramys parvus was located in three regional populations that were separated by low elevation river valleys in the subalpine and alpine areas of south-eastern Australia. These regional populations are located in Kosciuszko National Park in New South Wales, the Bogong High Plains area (including sub-populations on Mt Bogong, the Bogong High Plains and Mt Higginbotham) and at Mt Buller in Victoria. Highest densities and breeding females are largely confined to periglacial blockfields and blockstreams (termed boulderfields) at altitudes above 1400 m in Victoria and 1600 m in New South Wales (Caughley 1986; Mansergh and Broome 1994; Heinze and Williams 1998; Osborne et al. 2000; Heinze et al. 2004; Broome et al. 2005). The lower altitudinal limit roughly corresponds with the winter snowline of around 1370 m in altitude (Davis 1998). The New South Wales population was recently estimated at 613 + 92 individuals (Broome et al. 2005) and is restricted to small patches of preferred boulderfield habitat between South Ramshead in the Thredbo area north to Gungartan Pass in southern Kosciuszko National Park in an area measuring 30 km by 8 km (Caughley 1986; NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service 2002; Broome et al. 2005). As a result of the small population size, extremely restricted distribution and threats associated with ski-run development Burramys parvus has been listed as Endangered under both the Federal Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 and the New South Wales Threatened Species Conservation Act 1995.
An uncharacteristic new population of the Mountain Pygmy-possum Burramys parvus in New South Wales
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Martin Schulz, Gabriel Wilks, Linda Broome; An uncharacteristic new population of the Mountain Pygmy-possum Burramys parvus in New South Wales. Australian Zoologist 1 January 2012; 36 (1): 22–28. doi: https://doi.org/10.7882/azoo.36.1.e2048x7427x54461
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