Hayley Bates

A tiny pygmy mountain-possum peers from behind a tree stump inside the Secret Creek breeding facility

After decades in the making, the plan to breed mountain pygmy-possums and reintroduce them into lowland rainforests has begun.

A Mountain Pygmy-possum clings to a person's finger

Why the race to rescue the Mountain Pygmy-possum from extinction has spurred conservationists at home and abroad into action.


The critically endangered mountain pygmy-possum could have its survival chances boosted if scientists succeed in moving the tiny animal from its alpine habitat to a warmer, lowland forest environment, a UNSW Sydney study suggests.

Pygmy Possum

With fewer than 2,600 left in the wild, Australia’s Mountain Pygmy Possum (Burramys parvus) is listed as critically endangered. But UNSW biologist and PhD candidate Hayley Bates sees hope for the alpine-dwelling possum, which is little bigger than a mouse. 

Pygmy possum

Although the ground-dwelling Mountain Pygmy-possum is highly vulnerable to extinction, it can be saved, write Hayley Bates and Haijing Shi.