7 Sep 11 @ 06:00am by Alex Munro
THE fight for survival for the Leadbeater’s possum is being waged by three teenagers from Melbourne’s east.
The trio comprise the Help the Endangered Leadbeater’s Possum group and – despite being aged only 14 and 15 – are doing everything they can to help the endangered possum.
“We try to help in every respect we can – whether it’s habitat regeneration, attending to feeding stations at Lake Mountain or raising awareness,” said Elly, who founded the group after learning of how Black Saturday decimated the species.
“I want my generation to get out there and do what they can to help. It would be sad to see an animal go extinct when something could have been done about it.”
Elly, and her cohorts Emily and Rachel, who all attend St Margaret’s School in Berwick, dedicate hours every week to their work, including two full days last week.
Despite being Victoria’s faunal emblem, the Leadbeater’s possum continues to struggle to survive in the wild.
The current population is estimated to be fewer than a thousand.
Healesville Sanctuary is about to start a captive breeding program to help ensure its survival.
Sanctuary threatened species curator Dr Melanie Lancaster said Elly and her team had developed creative ways to engage the community on the plight of the Leadbeater’s possum.