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Leadbeater's Possums have been called 'Forest Fairies' because they are small, speedy and flit silently through the trees.

They are also Victoria's state faunal emblem and were once thought extinct before being rediscovered in 1961.

Weighing 120- 160 grams they occupy the canopy of some of the world's tallest forests. Loss of hollow-bearing old trees due to clearing and wildfires have greatly impacted this unique possum.

Their club-shaped tails are used to carry bark and other nesting materials back to their tree hollow where they build quite complex chambered nests.

The family groups comprise a single breeding pair and their young.

  • Leadbeater’s Possums use their tails to carry bark for their nests
  • They have been called 'forest fairies' because they are small, speedy and flit silently through the trees.
  • They live in small family colonies of up to 24 individuals.
  • An adult pair will breed twice a year with just 1-2 young per litter. Females rule the roost and actively defend their family territory.
  • All members sleep together in a complex nest made out of shredded bark in a tree hollow
  • Their diet consists of mainly tree sap and gum and invertebrates living in the bark of trees

Loss of hollow-bearing old trees due to clearing and wildfires
have greatly impacted this unique possum.

Mountain Ash trees take 200 years before they develop hollows suitable for Leadbeater's Possums. Trees that are managed for timber production are harvested on a much shorter life cycle than this.

The devastation Black Saturday bushfires in 2009 are thought to have destroyed at least 45% of the remaining Leadbeater's Possum habitat.

At our Zoos...

  • Healesville Sanctuary

In the Wild...

  • Yellingbo Conservation Reserve
  • Yarra Ranges
Funded by the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.