Mountain Pygmy-possum monitoring during the 2020-21 summer has found healthy possums within the Falls Creek Resort area.
Previously, populations within the resort management area had shown slow signs of recovery following the 2003 and 2006-07 fires that had impacted on the possum's habitat.
The ongoing population monitoring undertaken by Falls Creek Resort Management (FCRM) provides a useful insight into the success of projects being undertaken by the resort in partnership with agencies funded by the Victorian and Federal Governments.
A major threat to the possums and efforts to conserve the species is predation by feral cats and foxes, which are common across the resort area and adjacent National Park.
An integrated management plan has been developed, providing for ongoing monitoring and control of the cats and foxes. The plan has been running for two years and the recent finding of possums within the resort suggest the program is working.
FCRM has also been undertaking monitoring of Bogong Moth populations, which the possums rely on as a major food source for raising their pouch young. The moths arrive each year to escape the heat of inland areas, waiting out the summer in rocky outcrop areas that are habitat for the possums.
In recent years, moth numbers had appeared to have declined, raising concerns about the possum's future survival. This year however, staff have seen larger numbers of moths in the area, increasing hopes of a turnaround.
Falls Creek Resort Management thanks the Falls Creek community and visitors for their ongoing assistance in keeping native animals safe by adhering to advice and supporting the program.
Locals and visitors can record any sightings of pest animals within the resort area by clicking on the 'submit sightings' button here.
The Mountain Pygmy-possum Project is supported by Falls Creek Resort Management and the North East Catchment Management Authority (CMA), through funding from the Australian Government's National Landcare Program.
Additional fox and feral cat control to protect the resort's biodiversity is funded by the Victorian Government's Biodiversity Response Planning program and is helping to ensure Victoria's environment is healthy, valued and cared for.
Project partners include the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), Parks Victoria, Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board, and Traditional Owners who continue to work together to deliver this large-scale cat and fox control program.
FCRM is a member of the Mountain Pygmy-possum Victorian Recovery Team that oversees all conservation works for the Mountain Pygmy-possum across its entire range including protection work within the resort.