A steep decline in numbers occurred following extensive bushfires in 2003 after which very few animals were captured. Over the past decade, numbers of these cute little marsupials have improved with more favourable conditions and the increased removal of feral predators. However, it is thought that this is a few as 2000 animals remaining.
I spent my first day helping out at Mt Blue Cow. The site is within the Perisher ski resort and is very popular for skiers and boarders in winter. A few years ago a large section of one of the most popular runs was fenced off from riders to protect the fragile possum population. Possum crossings have also been installed across a number of runs to allow small mammals to cross safe from the threat of predators.
|Mel climbing the very rocky Mt Blue Cow|
|First possum for the day, so cute|
|More rock scrambling|
|Another cute possum|
|Twynam West Spur, one of my favourite places to ski in winter|
|Looks a little different in winter|
|Me holding the last possum we caught for the day|
|Wildlife crossing across the Side Saddle run|
My second day helping out started at the Charlotte Pass ski resort, a short drive up Kosciuszko Road from Perisher. We started by clearing a line within the resort, a very rocky boulder field perfect for Pygmy-possums. We caught loads of possums and had fun jumping around the rocks. I didn't get any photos of this line as we had a fairly large group and were moving pretty slow as it was.
After Charlottes Pass we drove back towards Perisher to our second line of the day, The Paralyser. The line is a fair way up the valley and we spent about half an hour bush bashing to get to the first trap.
|Location of the first trap, the road is way back down the valley|
The Paralyser is another of my favourite places to ski in winter. It is relatively close to the resort and offers some easily accessible interesting terrain.
|Spring at the mini paralyser|
|Damian on The Paralyser during one of the biggest snow falls of the 2012 season|
|Lovely clear day and fresh snow on The Paralyser|
|Posing in the sun|
|Love the snowgums, photos never do them justice|
|Rock ice shear|
|Definitely spring in the mountains|
We met back up with another team and shared the last few traps.
|They love the boulder fields and Mountain Plum-pine (Podocarpus lawrencei)|
|It’s a girl|
|A very friendly possum|
|The also endangered but not as cute Guthega Skink|
|And we are done|
We retraced our bush bash back to the car enjoying the surrounding mountains and thinking on the cute little marsupials that call them home.
A short vid of the day