The critically endangered mountain pygmy possum set to find love

A new ‘tunnel of love’ has been built at Mt Little Higginbotham to reconnect populations of the critically endangered mountain pygmy possum, Burramys parvus.

In 2014, genetic analyses by cesar revealed that the Great Alpine Road has been a significant barrier to dispersal of a mountain pygmy possum population at Mt Little Higginbotham, restricting its breeding potential.  

To reconnect the fragmented habitat, a rocky corridor has been constructed under the Great Alpine Road, providing male mountain pygmy possums the opportunity to seek female mates, which tend to live at higher altitudes.

This is the second tunnel of love constructed in the Mt Hotham region. In the 1980’s, the region received its first tunnel of love to reconnect a fragmented population at Mt Higginbotham, which was a success story in improving social function and gene flow in this critically endangered species.

The new tunnel’s construction was made possible by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) in partnership with the Mt Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board and Zoos Victoria.

Cover image: Photo by Andrew Weeks, Cesar Australia

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