Pygmy-Possum – Did You Know…

Sweet little fellow, isn’t it?

The pygmy possums are a family of small possums that together form the marsupial family Burramyidae. The five extant species of pygmy possum are grouped into two genera. Four of the species are endemic to Australia, with one species also co-occurring in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia.

Pygmy possums range in length from about 5 to 12 cm (2.0 to 4.7 in), and usually weigh between 10 and 50 grams (0.35 and 1.76 oz). They are nocturnal and omnivorous, living on a diet of invertebrates, fruit, seed, nectar and pollen. They are excellent climbers, due in part to their prehensile tails. Although they cannot glide like some other species of possums, some species are able to leap long distances.

Conservation International (CI) and the Indonesia Institute of Science (LIPI) reported on the possible discovery of a new species of Cercartetus pygmy possum upon visit to the Foja Mountains in June 2007.

 

Snow Leopard – Did You Know…

  
… that a snow leopard can jump as far as 15 meters (50 feet) in a single leap? 

One Indian snow leopard, protected and observed in a national park, is reported to have consumed five blue sheep, nine Tibetan woolly hares, twenty-five marmots, five domestic goats, one domestic sheep, and fifteen birds in a single year.

As these numbers indicate, snow leopards sometimes have a taste for domestic animals, which has led to killings of the big cats by herders.

These endangered cats appear to be in dramatic decline because of such killings, and due to poaching driven by illegal trades in pelts and in body parts used for traditional Chinese medicine. Vanishing habitat and the decline of the cats’ large mammal prey are also contributing factors.