Ever wished your favourite animal could be a baby forever? This little furball isn’t a mouse: it’s a tiny possum, and one of Australia’s rarest creatures, living exclusively in Australia’s alpine region at 1400m and higher. Get to know a bit more about this hardy little mountain marsupial.

  • Surprise! Not extinct!

    Mountain Pygmy Possum in human hand. Photo: Lucy Morrell/DPIE

    Charlotte PassKosciuszko National Park

    Lucy Morrell/DPIE (2005)

    The mountain pygmy-possum was once named the ‘Rarest Creature on Earth’ by The Guinness Book of Records. But how? One day in 1966, a little furball wandered into a ski lodge, and someone was smart enough to put down their hot toddy and realise it wasn’t a rodent.

  • Cuteness runs in the family

    Composite of pygmy possums. Photo: Mel Schroder/DPIE (left)

    Mountain pygmy-possum (left) and Eastern pygmy-possum (right)

    Mel Schroder/DPIE (left)

    LOOK AT THOSE EYES! On the left, you’ve got the mountain pygmy-possum. Cuteness overload. On the right, its smaller, and also endangered but equally squee-inducing cousin, the eastern pygmy-possum.

  • Champion eater

    Pygmy possum on flower. Photo: Lucy Morrell/DPIE

    Lucy Morrell/DPIE

    Tasty! This possum gorges on food before hibernating, packing on the weight to a whopping, um, 80g. Take note snowboarders: these mini marsupials often leave a stash of snacks nearby for when they wake up, so watch your step.

  • A True Australian Hero

    Mountain pygmy-possum perched on hand in front of snowy mountains. Photo: Cate Aitken/OEH

    The Mountain pygmy-possum is a critically endangered species

    Kosciuszko National Park

    Cate Aitken/OEH

    Like a lot of Aussies, this species punches above its weight: it’s our only native mammal that lives solely in an alpine habitat. Some good life goals right there.

  • Hang in there!

    Mountain pygmy possum with tagged ear. Photo: Mel Schroder/DPIE

    Mountain pygmy possum

    Mel Schroder/DPIE (2009)

    The mountain pygmy-possum is two steps away from total extinction with only a few thousand left in the wild, meaning this cutie is on the critically endangered list.

  • Greatest threats

    Mountain pygmy-possum eating plum pine in human hand. Photo: Lucy Morrell/DPIE

    A Mountain pygmy-possum eats some plum pine

    Blue Cow, Perisher ValleyKosciuszko National Park

    Lucy Morrell/DPIE (2013)

    Habitat degradation, climate change, feral predators and inbreeding are the greatest threats to the last remaining populations around Mount Kosciuszko (NSW), Mount Bogong (Vic), and Mount Buller (Vic).

  • What’s next?

    Mountain pygmy possum on rocks. Photo: Lucy Morrell/DPIE

    Mountain pygmy possum aka Burramys parvus is the largest of the pygmy possums found in Australia

    Kosciuszko National Park

    Lucy Morrell/DPIE (2012)

    There’s still hope for the Mountain Pygmy-possum with the Saving our Species program managing three specific sites for this endangered species in NSW.

    Get involved and help save threatened species by joining a volunteer or citizen science program in a national park near you. It’s great way to spend time in nature and make new friends too!