Printer Friendly

An overview of actions to conserve Leadbeater's Possum Gymnobelideus leadbeateri.

Conservation Listing

In 2015, after an extensive review by the Australian Government's Threatened Species Scientific Committee, the conservation listing of Leadbeater's Possum Gymnobelideus leadbeateri under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 was upgraded from 'Endangered' to 'Critically Endangered' due to the very severe magnitude of recent and projected population declines (Threatened Species Scientific Committee 2015). Based on the available data, the Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2015) concluded that Leadbeater's Possum populations have declined in size by more than 80% over the past 18 years (estimated from the extent of habitat loss or degradation) and further declines exceeding 80% are projected over the coming 18 years, amounting to an anticipated population decline of more than 96% over a 36 year period (Australian Government 2016).

In an independent assessment of the species' conservation status for the Action Plan for Australian Mammals (2012), Woinarski et al. (2014) also assessed the species' conservation status to be 'Critically Endangered' according to the IUCN Red List Guidelines.

The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) currently lists Leadbeater's Possum as 'Endangered' on its Advisory List of Threatened Fauna in Victoria 2013.

Australian Government

In the Australian Government's Threatened Species Strategy (2015-2020), Leadbeater's Possum has been identified as one of two mammal species identified for emergency intervention (Australian Government 2015a).

In September 2015, the Australian Government released an Action Plan for the species outlining high-level commitments that included: preparation of a new National Recovery Plan for the species by mid-2016 (the current National Recovery Plan for Leadbeater's Possum was prepared in 1997); funding to conduct radio-tracking in montane ash forest using GPS collars as part of the National Environmental Science Programme's Threatened Species Recovery Hub; research into management techniques to create suitable understorey conditions and increase den site availability; and funding through the 20 Million Trees Programme to undertake habitat restoration for lowland Leadbeater's Possums at several sites including Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve and the Coranderrk bushland adjoining Healesville Sanctuary (Australian Government 2015b).

Victorian Government

In 2013, the Leadbeater's Possum Advisory Group (LPAG) was convened by the Victorian Government to provide advice to the then Minister for Environment and Climate Change and Minister for Agriculture and Food Security on Leadbeater's Possum's conservation. LPAG's Terms of Reference stated that the recommendations should include, but not be limited to:

* immediate actions to manage the near-term risks of decline of the species; and

* medium and longer-term actions focused on ensuring the persistence of the species and its co-existence with a sustainable timber industry.

LPAG was co-chaired by Jenny Gray (CEO, Zoos Victoria) and Lisa Marty (CEO, Victorian Association of Forest Industries) and included the CEO of VicForests, CEO of Parks Victoria and Chair of the Leadbeater's Possum Recovery Team. The Victorian Department of Environment and Primary Industries (now DELWP) played an important role in compiling technical information underpinning the LPAG recommendations. Following the production of two reports, the Leadbeater's Possum Advisory Group (2014a) Recommendations and the Leadbeater's Possum Advisory Group (2014b) Technical Report, LPAG was disbanded, having fulfilled its stated purpose. Leadbeater's Possum Advisory Group (2014b) provides an evaluation of the relative impact of various potential recovery actions for the species. The Victorian Government at the time fully supported the implementation of the 13 LPAG recommendations and allocated $11 million to support their implementation. DELWP currently oversees the implementation of these actions through a Project Control Board and Implementation Committee.

In 2014, DELWP revised the Action Statement for Leadbeater's Possum to reflect the 13 LPAG recommendations (DELWP 2014).

The Leadbeater's Possum Recovery Team is currently inactive, having last met early in 2014. Past members are awaiting advice from DELWP on whether the group will be re-convened. Whilst the recovery team lacked decision-making power and funding, it did provide a valuable forum for coordination across projects and stakeholders, and facilitated discussions about study design and interpretation of results.

In November 2015, the Victorian Government announced the Terms of Reference for a Forest Industry Taskforce that will make recommendations about the future of the timber industry in Victoria, including the Central Highlands. The conservation of Leadbeater's Possum has been specifically identified as a key area to be addressed. The Taskforce includes representatives from the Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union, Victorian Association of Forest Industries, Australian Sustainable Hardwoods, Australian Paper, harvest and haulage contractors, The Wilderness Society Victoria, MyEnvironment, Victorian National Parks Association and the Australian Conservation Foundation. The Taskforce is due to provide the Victorian Government with recommendations during 2016.

Distribution

Leadbeater's Possum's distribution is restricted to a 70 x 80 km area in the Victorian Central Highlands, with one outlying lowland population at Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve (Harley 2004a). The total area of potentially suitable forest within the species' range is approximately 200 000 ha, albeit large areas are degraded due to past fires and timber harvesting.

Across its range, the possum inhabits three distinct forest types: montane ash forest, subalpine woodland, and lowland swamp forest (Harley 2004a). Notably, montane ash forest accounts for 96% of the area of potentially suitable forest.

Montane ash forest

While the limits of the species' distribution are well understood (Smith et al. 1985; Smith et al. 1989; Lindenmayer et al. 1989), a detailed understanding of site occupancy throughout the highlands is lacking and has long been a major knowledge gap. Targeted surveys are currently underway in an attempt to address this (Nelson et al. 2015). However, there is a very detailed understanding of the species' habitat requirements in montane ash forest, and the key habitat features that provide high quality habitat conditions are well understood (Smith and Lindenmayer 1988; Smith and Lindenmayer 1992; Lindenmayer et al. 1991a, 1991&, 2014).

Sub-alpine woodland

Extensive, targeted surveys have been completed or are currently underway on the three major plateaus supporting sub-alpine woodland across the species' range (i.e. Lake Mountain, Mt Bullfight and Baw Baw plateau) (Harley and Antrobus unpubl. data). An assessment of the Mt Matlock area will occur during 2016-17 as part of Project Possum (see below).

Lowland swamp forest

Despite a widespread occurrence in lowland forests near Westernport Bay prior to 1900, Leadbeater's Possum is now confined to a single lowland site at Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve, where the species distribution has been thoroughly surveyed and mapped (Harley et al. 2005).

Current surveys

There are two major projects currently focused on surveying for Leadbeater's Possum to increase our distributional knowledge:

1. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research surveys

The Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research has a major survey programme for Leadbeater's Possum currently underway based on one of the key LPAG recommendations. The work uses camera trapping as the principal survey method (Nelson et al. 2015). Tree canopy specialists are engaged to install cameras at greater heights (3-36 m) than in previous camera trapping for the species conducted by Harley et al. (2014). The surveys are focused in State Forest, and especially in the areas modelled as having 65% likelihood of occurrence for the species (Nelson et al. 2015). In the 2014/15 financial year, 113 sites were surveyed, resulting in the detection of Leadbeater's Possum at 50 new sites (Nelson et al. 2015). This includes the detection of the species at 15 of 42 sites (36%) designated for timber harvesting on the Timber Release Plan. The 50 new detection sites have now been protected from timber harvesting with 200 m radius buffers (12.6 ha). The survey programme will continue in 2015/16.

In 2012, the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research conducted targeted surveys for Leadbeater's Possum as part of a larger forest biodiversity study (Lumsden et al. 2013). Call playback surveys were undertaken at 180 sites (122 in State Forest and 58 in parks and reserves; 150 unburnt in 2009 and 30 burnt sites in 2009) using a thermal camera to assist animal detection (Lumsden et al. 2013). Each site was surveyed at least twice. Leadbeater's Possums were detected at 29 of the 180 survey sites (16%; 22 sites in State Forest and 7 sites in parks and reserves). Notably, no Leadbeater's Possum detections occurred at sites burnt in 2009. The latter finding is consistent with the post-fire monitoring results obtained by the Australian National University (Lindenmayer et al. 2013a), and highlights that the species is highly sensitive to fire (see 'Fire' section below).

2. Project Possum surveys

Project Possum is a collaborative project between Parks Victoria, Zoos Victoria and the Friends of Leadbeater's Possum that aims to provide long-lasting nestboxes (constructed from recycled plastic) at strategic locations throughout Leadbeater's Possum's range in the Victorian Central Highlands. The objectives vary depending on the forest type:

* sub-alpine woodland--to install nestboxes to survey Leadbeater's Possum's distribution and abundance and monitor post-fire recolonisation;

* montane ash forest--to install nestboxes to provide additional den sites at targeted locations to reduce the rate of territory abandonment when dead trees with hollows (stags) used for denning decay and collapse (see Harley 2006).

Currently there are 416 nest boxes installed as part of Project Possum (243 in sub-alpine woodland and 173 in montane ash forest). One hundred and thirty-eight nest boxes (57%) in sub-alpine woodland show evidence of use by Leadbeater's Possum (i.e. nesting material). However, the nest box usage rate increases to 81% (153 of 190 nest boxes) if only those nest boxes positioned in patches of sub-alpine woodland that were not burnt in 2009 are factored into this calculation. Notably, pre-fire at Lake Mountain 28 of 30 nest boxes (93%) were colonized by the species over five years. In unburnt sub-alpine woodland on the Baw Baw plateau, 84 of 108 nest boxes (78%) contain nest material within two years of installation. In montane ash forest, nest box occupancy rates are lower, with 51 of the 173 nest boxes (29%) showing evidence of use by the species (i.e. nest material).

In the 2014/15 financial year Project Possum completed 30 camera trap surveys at seven localities to determine the presence/absence of Leadbeater's Possum at proposed or established nestbox sites. A total of 243 nestbox inspections were also completed at eight different localities. Sixty of these nestboxes (25%) contained Leadbeater's Possum nesting material. This survey effort resulted in 59 new site records (44 in national park and 15 in state forest) for Leadbeater's Possums at 12 localities. During 2014/15, a total of 66 new nestboxes were also installed at new survey localities at Snobs Creek and on the Baw Baw plateau.

There are some important caveats relating to both of the studies listed above. Some caution is required when interpreting presence/ absence survey data generated for this species given that site viability/species persistence in the long-term (> 50 years) may vary widely among the locations currently occupied (i.e. based on future hollow-bearing tree availability). Hence, the recent records do not change the high extinction risk due to the poor condition of habitat. While effective in some situations, nestboxes have several shortcomings (Lindenmayer et al. 1991c, 2009) and provide no benefit to other hollow-dependent fauna, and should be regarded as only an interim measure until an adequate number of tree hollows can be restored across the landscape (Harley 2006).

In addition to the survey projects listed above there are several additional sources of distributional data for Leadbeater's Possum:

* since 1988, the Fauna Survey Group of the Field Naturalists Club of Victoria has conducted 5-10 stagwatches per year for Leadbeater's Possum. In total, they have surveyed 179 sites between 1988 and 2015, with the possum detected at 56 (31%) of these sites (R Gibson pers. comm.).

* VicForests are in the process of initiating camera trapping surveys for Leadbeater's Possum on coupes proposed for timber harvesting.

* Several individuals have been conducting regular surveys for Leadbeater's Possum in areas proposed for timber harvesting. DELWP has recently purchased survey equipment for call playback surveys that is available for loan to community members to facilitate and support community surveys for the species.

DELWP has prepared a Threatened Species Survey Standard: Leadbeater's Possum (downloadable from the DELWP website) that provides information on survey techniques, evidence required to confirm Leadbeater's Possum records, the process for submitting records and the verification process. They have also launched the Leadbeater's Possum Interactive Map on the web which includes several spatial layers, including Leadbeater's Possum records, Forest Management Zones, the Timber Release Plan, and sites where 200 m radius protection buffers (that exclude timber harvesting) have been applied.

Survey techniques

During the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s, stag-watching has been the major survey technique for Leadbeater's Possum in montane ash forest (Smith et al. 1989; Lindenmayer et al. 2003). The Australian National University and Field Naturalists Club of Victoria have been the main groups applying this method.

In lowland swamp forest, the main survey method employed since the mid-1990s has been the use of nestboxes (Harley 2004b). However, extensive stagwatching and call imitation has also been conducted (Harley 2015).

In sub-alpine woodland, nestboxes have been the major survey method employed since the early 2000s as part of Project Possum (Harley and Antrobus unpubl. data).

Since the 2009 Black Saturday fires, two new survey techniques have been employed for Leadbeater's Possum. The first is camera trapping, whereby heat-and-motion sensing cameras are directed at a bait positioned approximately 2 m away (Harley et al. 2014). Holland et al. (2012) undertook extensive testing of the method to evaluate its effectiveness and reliability; however, camera installation was restricted to heights of 4 m and thus surveys were restricted to sites with dense vegetation structure at low heights (< 6 m). More recently, the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research has adopted this method using tree canopy specialists to install cameras at greater heights (up to 36 m) in montane ash forest (Nelson et al. 2015).

The second survey method employed since 2009 is call playback with thermal imaging cameras. The Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research led this work (Lumsden et al. 2013). The use of thermal cameras in combination with call playback significantly improved the ability of observers to detect the species in those instances when possums were attracted to the broadcast calls, and represents a major technological advancement. However, based on call imitation results in lowland swamp forest, Harley (2015) highlights that the method has not been adequately tested and several key biological questions remain, including: variation in response rates between colonies and according to the type and volume of the call that is broadcast, position in the territory where calls are bro adcast (e.g. core part of territory vs territory boundaries, proximity to the den), time of night, season and moon-phase. Two key central questions are how many visits are required to a site to reliably conclude species absence (i.e. what is the 'false negative' rate), and what is the distance over which animals will respond given this ultimately determines the area of forest being surveyed and will inform spacing between sampling sites. Results from Yellingbo highlight that there is a strong likelihood of 'false negative' survey results for sites that are visited on just one or two occasions (Harley 2015).

The risk of 'false negative' results also applies to the other survey techniques employed to detect Leadbeater's Possum. The greatest confidence (i.e. highest detection probability) will be achieved either when a single technique is applied on multiple occasions or when more than one survey method is employed. An example of the latter includes the recent use of camera trapping at sites where nestboxes remain unoccupied in order to determine whether this is attributable to absence of the species from the site or a low rate of nestbox colonisation (Harley and Antrobus unpubl. data).

Population Monitoring

Montane ash forest

The Australian National University has 175 one hectare monitoring sites spread across the Central Highlands where they monitor hollow-bearing tree availability and arboreal mammal presence/absence. A subset of these sites have been monitored since the early 1980s (Lindenmayer 2009) and 11 additional sites were added to the programme following the 2009 Black Saturday fires (D Blair pers. comm.). This is one of the most comprehensive data sets of its type in the world and highlights the positive correlation between hollow-bearing tree abundance and the presence of Leadbeater's Possum (Smith and Lindenmayer 1988, 1992; Lindenmayer et al. 1991a, 2014). The rate of stag collapse has been described in detail by Lindenmayer et al. (1990, 1997, 2012, 2013a). The latest results indicate that 50% of the stags being monitored have fallen between 1997 and 2015 (D Blair pers. comm.).

Sub-alpine woodland

Leadbeater's Possum was detected at 28 of 30 (93%) nestbox sites at Lake Mountain prior to the 2009 Black Saturday fires (Harley unpubl. data). Post-fire, the species was detected at only one (3%) of these 30 sites, and expanded surveys detected only one additional colony on the plateau, indicating that the fire resulted in greater than 95% mortality on the plateau (Harley and Antrobus unpubl. data). Annual monitoring has been maintained since 2009 to examine post-fire recolonisation. Currently there are three known colonies on the plateau following at least three separate recolonisation events by individuals or colonies since 2009 (Harley and Antrobus unpubl. data).

In 2010, work also commenced at Mt Bullfight to determine post-fire persistence and recolonisation by Leadbeater's Possum. To date, the species has been detected in 41 of 52 nestboxes (79%) there (Harley and Antrobus unpubl. data). Prior to 2016, the species was absent from the central part of the plateau that was burnt at highest severity, and the surviving possums are associated with montane riparian thickets on the slopes that were burnt at lower severity.

Lowland swamp forest

Annual population monitoring has been underway since 1996 for the last lowland population of Leadbeater's Possum at Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve (Harley 2005; Harley and Antrobus unpubl. data). Yellingbo is a closed population and [greater than or equal to] 80% of the total population is sampled each year via nestboxes, so the data collected provides a detailed insight into population dynamics (Harley 2005). Several measures of population condition are evaluated annually, including total population size, colony sizes, colony persistence through time, reproductive rates, and annual recruitment. The monitoring also provides extensive data on survivorship, longevity and dispersal. Fifteen colonies have been lost (i.e. territories abandoned) at Yellingbo since 2003 due to a severe decline in vegetation condition, translating into a population decline of ~60%. The current population estimate is approximately 48 individuals (Harley and Antrobus unpubl. data).

Genetics

Hansen (2008) investigated the population genetics of Leadbeater's Possum. The study was based largely on 198 samples collected from animals at Yellingbo and 162 samples collected from animals at Lake Mountain. Despite montane ash forest accounting for 96% of the habitat available for Leadbeater's Possum, only 18 samples from four extant populations in montane ash forest were available for analysis, accounting for just 5% of possums sampled (Hansen et al. 2009). A key finding was that the last lowland population at Yellingbo is genetically distinct from montane populations with the isolation pre-dating European arrival. The Yellingbo population shares genetic affinities with historic populations in lowland habitats near Westernport Bay (Hansen et al. 2009). Further genetic sampling has been undertaken at Yellingbo between 2011 and 2015 to permit an analysis of recent genetic changes in the population following the reduction in population size. In November 2015, Professor Paul Sunnucks in the School of Biological Sciences at Monash University submitted an Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grant application to examine genetic rescue in several threatened species, including an investigation into future genetic management options for the small, isolated lowland population (e.g. the benefits and risks of gene pool mixing with highland possums). Increased sampling of highland populations is also required to improve our understanding of patterns of genetic diversity across montane habitats.

Additional research

Vegetation impacts from habitat disturbance

The Australian National University initiated a major study following the 2009 fires, investigating the relationship between vegetation condition and disturbance. This work compares several variables, such as species richness and vegetation structure, across sites that are unlogged and unburnt, burnt at high severity, burnt at low severity, clearfell logged and salvage logged (D Blair pers. comm.). A key finding with implications for Leadbeater's Possum is that midstorey species are reduced in abundance at sites that have been subject to logging (D Blair pers. comm.).

Habitat fragmentation

During 2011 and 2012, the Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology (ARCUE) radio-tracked Leadbeater's Possums in the Powelltown area to investigate whether the species regularly cross roads or whether roads are likely to fragment local populations. ARCUE also investigated the effectiveness of eight rope bridges on increasing road crossing rates, and found that Leadbeater's Possums do utilise rope bridges (L Harrison pers. comm.). The results of this research are currently being prepared for publication.

Increasing den site availability

Hollows, with internal dimensions matching those of the nestboxes installed for Leadbeater's Possum, have been mechanically excavated in living eucalypts by tree canopy specialists using chainsaws. To date, 72 hollows have been excavated, with nine (13%) containing Leadbeater's Possum nest material within four months of creation (DELWP 2015b). The University of Melbourne, DELWP and VicForests also have an ARC Research Grant to investigate acceleration of hollow development in montane ash forest.

Spatial ecology

Lindenmayer and Meggs (1996) and Harley (2005) used radio-tracking to examine daily den site use in montane ash forest and lowland swamp forest, respectively. To date, the only extensive night radio-tracking of the species to examine home range size and movements has been undertaken at Yellingbo (Harley unpubl. data). ANU is currently working with radio telemetry companies to develop a GPS collar that would permit the collection of nocturnal movement data in the Central Highlands.

Forest Management

The LPAG (2014a) recommended 13 actions be implemented immediately to help conserve Leadbeater's Possum. The majority of actions described below are derived from this work. In an assessment of the relative impact of various recovery actions completed by LPAG, the Great Forest National Park was identified as the conservation action with the highest benefit to the possum (LPAG 2014b). However, given that the LPAG Terms of Reference specified that consideration would be given to 'persistence of the species and its co-existence with a sustainable timber industry', the Great Forest National Park was excluded from the recommendations given its impact on the Victorian timber industry. This has led to some criticism of the LPAG recommendations (Lindenmayer et al. 2015). Population viability modelling completed by the Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research in 2013 indicated the current reserve system is inadequate to conserve the species in the long-term (Lumsden et al. 2013).

The implementation of the LPAG recommendations during 2014/15 has included amendments to the Forest Management Zoning Scheme to create Special Protection Zone (SPZ) buffers measuring 200 m in radius (12.6 ha) in State Forest for 124 sites (encompassing 238 Leadbeater's Possum records collected from 1998-2013 and 64 new records collected during 2014/15 (DELWP 2015b)). Buffers of 100 m (totalling to 751 ha) have also been placed around areas modelled to contain old growth (DELWP 2015b).

The definition of Zone 1A habitat for Leadbeater's Possum, which identifies habitat in State Forest to be excluded from timber harvesting, has been revised from 12 or more live, mature hollow-bearing ash trees per three hectare patch to 10 or more live, mature or senescent hollow-bearing ash trees per three hectare patch (DELWP 2015b).

To assist the identification of high quality habitat (e.g. Zone 1A), DELWP are investigating the effectiveness of LIDAR remote sensing technology combined with aerial survey data to map old trees and the density of midstorey vegetation that provides important habitat structure for Leadbeater's Possum (DELWP 2015b).

Timber harvesting has been delayed for two years (2014-2016) in 14 800 ha of forest modelled as having a 65% probability of occupancy by Leadbeater's Possum to permit targeted surveys for the species to be completed (DELWP 2015b). This includes deferral for 63 coupes approved for timber harvesting on the Timber Release Plan.

Regrowth Retention Harvesting (as opposed to clearfell harvesting) has been completed on 23 coupes in Leadbeater's Possum's range, accounting for 42% of the area of ash forest harvested (DELWP 2015b). Retention harvesting involves the retention of habitat islands on coupes and factors in both the area retained and the spatial configuration of that habitat (i.e. the retained habitat may total ~30% of the coupe area, with the islands distributed so that the majority of the harvested area falls within one tree height (60 m) of retained forest). The retained trees are at least 50 years old and excluded from harvesting for at least one rotation. Modified post-harvest burning was also applied to 16 Regrowth Retention Harvesting coupes in an attempt to improve the survival of retained trees (DELWP 2015b).

In order to increase the area of old forest across the Central Highlands, targets have been set to protect at least 30% of the ash forest within each Leadbeater's Possum Management Unit from timber harvesting so that it can mature into old growth forest (DELWP 2015b). It is estimated that prior to European settlement, 30-60% of the Mountain Ash forests of the Central Highlands were multi-aged or old growth (Lindenmayer et al. 2013b). However, due to fires and past management, <2% is currently estimated to be old growth or multi-aged forest (Lindenmayer et al. 2015). Lindenmayer et al. (2013b) highlight that in order to achieve 30% old growth in each Leadbeater's Possum Management Unit, we should in fact be aiming for 50% at the outset as future fires will impact the area of forest that is set aside to mature.

Fire

In the Black Saturday bushfires of 2009, approximately 68 000 ha (34%) of suitable forest types within Leadbeater's Possum's range was burnt, and significantly, ~ 13 000 ha (45%) of the permanent reserve system established to conserve the possum was burnt.

Data collected following the bushfires of 2009 has revealed that Leadbeater's Possum is far more fire-sensitive than was previously recognised. There are three key sources of data, all demonstrating the severe fire impacts on the species:

1. Lindenmayer et al. (2013a) recorded Leadbeater's Possum on just 1.3% of 45 sites that were burnt in 2009, compared to 27.3% of 63 unburnt sites. They also found that the possum was less abundant on unburnt sites surrounded by burnt habitat, indicating that the footprint of the fire is greater than just the area burnt. Across 68 one-hectare, long-term monitoring sites that were burnt in 2009, Lindenmayer et al. (2012) found that 79% of live hollow-bearing trees were killed and 57-100% of large, dead trees were destroyed in the fire.

2. Lumsden et al. (2013) detected Leadbeater's Possum at none of the 30 sites surveyed in forest that was burnt in 2009, compared to 29 of 150 (19%) unburnt sites. Subsequent surveys to examine fire refugia detected the possum in just six of 37 (16%) unburnt patches of forest (with intact canopy and midstorey) surrounded by burnt forest. The smallest unburnt patch where possums were detected was ~ 10 ha in size, and the detections were 2.6-9.8 km from the edge of burnt forest.

3. Pre-fire and post-fire monitoring of the Leadbeater's Possum population inhabiting sub-alpine woodland on the Lake Mountain plateau revealed the loss of the species from 28 of 29 (97%) occupied sites that were burnt in 2009 (Harley and Antrobus unpubl. data). Pre-fire, the subpopulation was estimated to contain 200-300 individuals, and post-fire monitoring results indicate that <10 individuals survived the fire on the plateau. Hence, the fire resulted in a mortality rate exceeding 95% at this locality.

These results highlight the catastrophic impacts that fires have on this species, and are of major concern given predictions of increased fire frequency over coming decades. The loss of hollow-bearing trees in the 2009 fire (Lindenmayer et al. 2012) has also greatly exacerbated the tree hollow scarcity across the Central Highlands.

A recent analysis by Taylor et al. (2014) examined the impact of timber harvesting on subsequent fire intensity, and found that 7-40 year-old regeneration from timber harvesting has a greater likelihood of burning at a high severity.

DELWP has developed a decision tree and protocols to guide interventions for Leadbeater's Possum populations following fire events (DELWP 2015b).

Habitat Restoration (lowland swamp forest)

There is approximately 180 ha of lowland swamp forest in the Cockatoo Creek section of Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve. However, due to a severe deterioration in vegetation condition during the past 25 years, less than 25 ha (<15%) is currently estimated to provide high quality habitat conditions for lowland Leadbeater's Possums (and Helmeted Honeyeaters). The main causes for the decline in vegetation condition at Yellingbo are:

(i) severe eucalypt dieback due to altered hydrology, and

(ii) the lack of an appropriate disturbance regime to promote natural regeneration of eucalypts, paperbarks and tea tree.

Effective habitat restoration and an appropriate ongoing management regime are essential requirements to recover lowland Leadbeater's Possum (and Helmeted Honeyeater) populations at Yellingbo and beyond. Over the past two years, significant progress has been made to better integrate hydrological management, vegetation management and threatened species management at Yellingbo. Following several years of data collection and modelling, Melbourne Water is in the final design stages of a hydrological restoration plan targeting sections of the floodplain. During 2013-15, almost 400 000 stems were planted at Yellingbo by Greening Australia, Parks Victoria and the Friends of Helmeted Honeyeater with funding from the Victorian Government's Two Million Trees Programme and the Judith Eardley Save Wildlife Fund. During 2015-18, a further 792 000 stems will be planted for Helmeted Honeyeaters and lowland Leadbeater's Possums by Greening Australia, the Friends of Helmeted Honeyeater and Healesville Sanctuary with funding from the Australian Government's 20 Million Trees Programme. In 2016, an ARC Linkage project will commence, being led by the University of Melbourne (with the Australian National University, Parks Victoria, Greening Australia, Melbourne Water and Zoos Victoria as project partners), investigating the effectiveness of various habitat restoration techniques in floodplain forest.

Captive-breeding

In 2012, Zoos Victoria initiated a captive-breeding program to protect the genetically distinct lowland population of Leadbeater's Possum (Harley 2012). The triggers for this intervention were the unique genetics in the population and the extremely high extinction risk in the short-term. The objectives are to provide insurance against the extinction of the last lowland population, and provide a future source of animals to re-populate restored habitat at Yellingbo and several additional locations (i.e. risk-spreading against fire). In order to minimise impacts on the wild population, the collection rate of founders for captive-breeding has been restricted to 3-6 individuals per year. Currently, 15 individuals are held at Healesville Sanctuary as part of the breeding programme and no successful breeding has yet occurred. The current target size for the captive-breeding population is 12 pairs.

A project is being developed to investigate future genetic management options for the lowland population, including the potential crossing of lowland and highland possums to determine fitness consequences and establish whether this is a viable means of increasing genetic diversity in the lowland population through carefully managed matings.

The captive-breeding program is linked with a major habitat restoration program that is underway for the Helmeted Honeyeater (Lichenostomus melanops cassidix) and lowland Leadbeater's Possum (see above). Suitable floodplain forest is also being restored in the Coranderrk Bushland that adjoins Healesville Sanctuary, with future plans to release captive-bred Leadbeater's Possums there so that the breeding program includes free-ranging individuals.

There is no captive-breeding program in place or proposed for the core Leadbeater's Possum populations inhabiting montane forest in the Central Highlands.

Discussion

The combined actions currently underway for Leadbeater's Possum by government, universities and community groups amount to greater recovery effort being implemented than at any previous time. Yet population declines continue, and the risk of extinction remains unacceptably high (Lumsden et al. 2013; Threatened Species Scientific Committee 2015; Lindenmayer et al. 2015). This reflects the severe population declines arising from the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009 and the significant conservation challenges facing the species given the poor condition of habitat and the ongoing risk posed by fire. Contention remains about the suite of actions required to conserve the species (Lindenmayer and Possingham 2013; Lindenmayer et al. 2015), highlighted by several differences between the recommendations of Lindenmayer et al. (2013b) and those of the LPAG (2014a). Notably, several government reports have identified the inadequacy of the current reserve system to conserve the species in the long-term (Lumsden et al. 2013, LPAG 2014b; Threatened Species Scientific Committee 2015). In its assessment of Leadbeater's Possum's conservation listing under the EPBC Act 1999, the Australian Government's Threatened Species Scientific Committee stated

The Committee considers the most effective way to prevent further decline and rebuild the population of Leadbeater's possum is to cease timber harvesting within montane ash forests of the Central Highlands (Threatened Species Scientific Committee 2015).

It is very clear that the conservation of Leadbeater's Possum requires improved habitat management and, in particular, increased provision of high quality habitat characterised by abundant hollow-bearing trees. The combination of past fires and timber harvesting has degraded large areas of forest across the species' range, with more than 50% of the total habitat available for the species adversely impacted by fire, timber harvesting or hollow depletion due to stag collapse since the year 2000.

Hollow-bearing trees, a critical resource for Leadbeater's Possum, are now in extremely short supply across much of the Central Highlands (Lindenmayer et al. 1990, 1997, 2012, 2013a), in part due to the legacy of extensive salvage logging that followed the 1939 Black Friday wildfire (Lindenmayer and Ough 2006). Of the 529 3-ha sites assessed by Lindenmayer et al. (1990), 28% had no hollow-bearing trees and 65% had fewer than five trees possessing hollows. This situation has worsened greatly during the past 25 years due to ongoing stag collapse, further timber harvesting and the impacts of the 2009 fire (Lindenmayer et al. 2012).

Extensive data describe the strong positive relationship between the presence of Leadbeater's Possum at a site and the abundance of hollow-bearing trees (Smith and Lindenmayer 1988, 1992; Lindenmayer et al. 1991a, 2014). While there are locations where the species persists in the presence of few hollowing-bearing trees, such sites are at high risk of abandonment over time owing to stag collapse (see Lindenmayer et al. 1990, 1997, 2012, 2013a), and so have lower viability in the long-term (i.e. > 50 years). With this in mind, presence-absence survey data should be interpreted with caution, as in some instances they may not provide a good representation of the long-term viability of local populations.

Two distinct mechanisms are driving the decline of Leadbeater's Possum populations. The first involves gradual, ongoing population declines in local areas due to deterioration in habitat quality from stag collapse, timber harvesting, and vegetation dieback in lowland forest. The second process driving substantial population declines is fire, which is episodic, covers large spatial areas and has catastrophic impacts on both habitat condition and possum populations. Detailed case studies exist for both mechanisms. For instance, the well documented population decline in response to ongoing habitat degradation at Yellingbo provides a good illustration of the risks associated with the ongoing forest degradation in the Central Highlands. The exceedingly high mortality rate on the Lake Mountain plateau in the Black Saturday fires, and loss of the species from virtually all montane ash sites burnt in 2009 (Lindenmayer et al. 2012; Lumsden et al. 2013) highlights that the species is extremely sensitive to fire, and a robust conservation strategy for Leadbeater's Possum needs to encompass risk-spreading strategies to contend with future fires.

The conservation of Leadbeater's Possum presents some unique challenges, given the following considerations:

* the species' distribution is restricted to an extremely small geographical area;

* timber harvesting and fires over the past 75 years have greatly diminished the abundance of hollow-bearing trees across the landscape (Lindenmayer et al. 2012);

* future population declines are inevitable due to the ongoing loss of hollow-bearing trees caused by natural decay and collapse of stags created in the 1939 'Black Friday' fire (Lindenmayer et al. 1990, 1997, 2013a);

* the development of hollows suitable for denning is an extremely slow biological process ([greater than or equal to] 190 years) (Smith and Lindenmayer 1988; Lindenmayer et al. 1991b), so actions taken now may not provide strong benefits for several decades;

* the species is highly sensitive to fire (Lindenmayer et al. 2013a; Lumsden et al. 2013) and fires kill and/or destroy hollow-bearing trees at a very high rate (Lindenmayer et al. 2012);

* fire can impact large areas of habitat over short periods of time; and

* fire frequency is expected to increase under various climate change scenarios.

The key elements required to conserve Leadbeater's Possum include:

(a) increased protection of remaining habitat, especially hollow-bearing trees;

(b) large areas of forest must be allowed to mature to increase the quantity of high quality habitat as soon as possible, particularly in fire-protected parts of the landscape. The regeneration from the 1939 Black Friday bushfire will play a critical role in achieving this; and

(c) interim management strategies should be implemented that support populations through coming decades while we regenerate high quality habitat. Notably (a) and (b) above will also have significant benefits for more than 30 species of hollow-dependent fauna in the Victorian Central Highlands, so the conservation outcomes extend well beyond Leadbeater's Possum.

The effectiveness of actions is scale-dependent. Actions targeting individual colonies are likely to have minimal impact on population recovery at a landscape scale. The possum's conservation should be viewed in terms of the need to restore and protect substantial possum 'neighbourhoods', not small clusters of colonies, across the species' entire range as risk-spreading against fire.

To ensure Leadbeater's Possum survives, more needs to be done to compensate for past impacts on the forest from fires and timber harvesting over the past 75 years. Better knowledge of the species' distribution (and genetic diversity) throughout the Central Highlands will provide an important foundation to inform immediate management interventions to support local populations and to provide a baseline against which we can assess population change over time and ultimately measure the effectiveness of our actions.

References

Australian Government (2015a) Threatened Species Strategy. (Department of the Environment: Canberra)

Australian Government (2015b) Leadbeater's Possum Action Plan. (Department of the Environment: Canberra)

Australian Government (2016) DRAFT National Recovery Plan for Leadbeater's possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri). (Department of the Environment: Canberra)

DELWP (2015a) Threatened Species Survey Standard: Leadbeater's Possum. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Melbourne.

DELWP (2015b) Supporting the Recovery of the Leadbeater's Possum: Progress Report October 2015.

Hansen BD 2008 Population genetic structure of Leadbeater's Possum Gymnobelideus leadbeateri, and its implications for species conservation. (Unpublished PhD Thesis, Monash University, Melbourne)

Hansen BD, Harley DPK, Lindenmayer DB and Taylor AC (2009) Population genetic analysis reveals a long-term de cline of a threatened endemic Australian marsupial. Molecular Ecology 18, 3346-3362.

Harley DKP (2004a) A review of recent records of Leadbeater's Possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri). In The Biology of Australian Possums and Gliders, pp. 330-338. Eds R Goldingay and S Jackson. (Surrey Beatty and Sons: Sydney)

Harley DKP (2004b) Patterns of nestbox use by Leadbeater's Possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri): applications to research and conservation. In The Biology of Australian Possums and Gliders, pp. 318-329. Eds R Goldingay and S Jackson. (Surrey Beatty and Sons: Sydney)

Harley (2005) The life history and conservation of Leadbeater's possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri) in lowland swamp forest. (Unpublished PhD thesis, Monash University, Melbourne)

Harley DKP, Worley MA and Harley TK (2005) The distribution and abundance of Leadbeater's Possum Gymnobelideus leadbeateri in lowland swamp forest at Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve. Australian Mammalogy 27: 7-15.

Harley D (2006) A role for nestboxes in the conservation of Leadbeater's possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri). Wildlife Research 33, 385-395.

Harley D (2012) The application of Zoos Victoria's 'Fighting Extinction' commitment to the conservation of Leadbeater's Possum Gymnobelideus leadbeateri. Victorian Naturalist 129, 175-180.

Harley DPK, Holland GJ, Hradsky BA and Antrobus JS (2014) The use of camera traps to detect arboreal mammals: lessons from targeted surveys for the cryptic Leadbeater's Possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri). In Camera Trapping : Wildlife Management and Research, pp. 233-243. Eds PD Meek, PJS Fleming, G Ballard, P Banks, AW Claridge, J Sanderson and D Swann. (CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood, Victoria)

Harley, D (2015) The use of call imitation to establish territory occupancy by Leadbeater's possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri). Australian Mammalogy 37, 116-119.

Holland GJ, Harley DKP, Hradsky BAK and Antrobus JS (2012) The effectiveness of remote cameras for detecting the endangered Leadbeater's Possum Gymnobelideus leadbeateri. Unpublished Technical Report submitted to the Natural Values Fire Recovery Program, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria.

Leadbeater's Possum Advisory Group (2014a) Leadbeater's Possum Recommendations: Report to the Minister for Environment and Climate Change and the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security. Department of Environment and Primary Industries, East Melbourne.

Leadbeater's Possum Advisory Group (2014b) Leadbeater's Possum Technical Report: Report to the Minister for Environment and Climate Change and the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security. Department of Environment and Primary Industries, East Melbourne.

Lindenmayer DB (2009) Forest Pattern and Ecological Process: A Synthesis of 25 Years of Research. (CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.)

Lindenmayer DB, Smith AP, Craig SA and Lumsden LF (1989) A survey of the distribution of Leadbeater's Possum, Gymnobelideus leadbeateri McCoy in the central highlands of Victoria. The Victorian Naturalist 106, 174-178.

Lindenmayer DB, Cunningham RB, Tanton MT and Smith AP (1990) The conservation of arboreal marsupials in the montane ash forests of the central highlands of Victoria, south-east Australia. II. The loss of trees with hollows and its implications for the conservation of Leadbeater's possum Gymnobelideus leadbeateriMcCoy (Marsupialia: Petauridae). Biological Conservation 54, 133-145.

Lindenmayer DB, Cunningham RB, Tanton MT, Nix HA and Smith AP (1991a) The conservation of arboreal marsupials in the montane ash forests of the Central Highlands of Victoria, south-east Australia: III. The habitat requirements of Leadbeater's possum Gymnobelideus leadbeateri and models of the diversity and abundance of arboreal marsupials. Biological Conservation 56, 295-315.

Lindenmayer DB, Cunningham RB, Tanton MT, Smith AP and Nix HA (1991b) Characteristics of hollow-bearing trees occupied by arboreal marsupials in the montane ash forests of the central highlands of Victoria, south-east Australia. Forest Ecology and Management 40, 289-308.

Lindenmayer DB, Tanton MT and Cunningham RB (1991c) A critique of the use of nestboxes for the conservation of Leadbeater's possum, Gymnobelideus leadbeateri McCoy. Wildlife Research 18, 619-624.

Lindenmayer DB and RA Meggs (1996) Use of den trees by Leadbeater's Possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri). Australian Journal of Zoology 44, 625-638.

Lindenmayer DB, Cunningham RB and Donnelly CF (1997) Decay and collapse of trees with hollows in eastern Australian forests: impacts on arboreal marsupials. Ecological Applications 7, 625-641.

Lindenmayer DB, Cunningham RB, MacGregor C, Incoll RD and Michael D (2003) A survey design for monitoring the abundance of arboreal marsupials in the Central Highlands of Victoria. Biological Conservation 110, 161-167.

Lindenmayer, DB and Ough K (2006) Salvage harvesting in the montane ash forests of the Central Highlands of Victoria, south-eastern Australia. Conservation Biology 20, 1005-1015.

Lindenmayer DB, Welsh A, Donnelly CF, Crane M, Michael D, MacGregor C, McBurney L, Montague-Drake RM, and Gibbons P (2009) Are nestboxes a viable alternative source of cavities for hollow dependent animals? Long-term monitoring of nestbox occupancy, pest use and attrition. Biological Conservation 142, 33-42.

Lindenmayer DB, Blanchard W, McBurney L, Blair D, Banks S, Likens GE, Franklin JF, Laurance WF, SteinJ and Gibbons P (2012) Interacting factors driving a major loss of large trees with cavities in a forest ecosystem. PLoS One 7

Lindenmayer DB and Possingham HP (2013) No excuse for habitat destruction. Science 340, 680.

Lindenmayer DB, Blanchard W, McBurney L, Blair D, Banks S, Driscoll D, Smith A and Gill AM (2013a) Fire severity and landscape context effects on arboreal marsupials. Biological Conservation 167, 137-148.

Lindenmayer DB, Blair D, McBurney L and Banks S (2013b) New restoration forest management prescriptions to conserve Leadbeater's possum and rebuild the cover of ecologically mature forest in the Central Highlands of Victoria. Fenner School of Environment and Society, The Australian National University, Canberra.

Lindenmayer DB, Barton PS, Lane PW, Westgate MJ, McBurney L, Blair D, Gibbons P and Likens GE (2014) An empirical assessment and comparison of species-based and habitat-based surrogates: a case study of forest vertebrates and large old trees. PLoS One 9

Lindenmayer DB, Blair D, McBurney L and Banks SC (2015) Ignoring the science in failing to conserve a faunal icon--major political, policy and management problems in preventing the extinction of Leadbeater's possum. Pacific Conservation Biology 21, 257-265.

Lumsden LF, Nelson JL, Todd CR, Scroggie MP, McNabb EG, Raadik TA, Smith SJ, Acevedo S, Cheers G, Jemison ML and Nicol MD (2013) A New Strategic Approach to Biodiversity Management--Research Component. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research Unpublished Client Report for the Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Heidelberg, Victoria.

Nelson JL, Lumsden LF, Durkin LK, Bryant DB, Macak PV, Cripps JK, Smith SJ, Scroggie MP and Cashmore MP (2015) Targeted surveys for Leadbeater's Possum in 201415. Report for the Leadbeater's Possum Implementation Committee. (Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning: Heidelberg, Victoria)

Smith AP and Lindenmayer DB (1988) Tree hollow requirements of Leadbeater's possum and other possums and gliders in timber production ash forests of the Victorian central highlands. Australian Wildlife Research 15, 347-362.

Smith A, Lindenmayer D and Suckling G (1985) The Ecology and Management of Leadbeater's Possum. Research Report to the World Wildlife Fund Australia. University of New England, Armidale, NSW

Smith AP and Lindenmayer DB (1988) Tree hollow requirements of Leadbeater's possum and other possums and gliders in timber production ash forests of the Victorian central highlands. Australian Wildlife Research 15, 347-362.

Smith AP, Lindenmayer D, Begg RJ, Macfarlane MA, Seebeck JH and Suckling GC (1989) Evaluation of the stag-watching technique for census of possums and gliders in tall open forest. Australian Wildlife Research 16, 575-580.

Smith AP and Lindenmayer DB (1992) Forest succession and habitat management for Leadbeater's possum in the State of Victoria, Australia. Forest Ecology and Management 49, 311-332.

Taylor C, McCarthy MA and Lindenmayer DB (2014) Nonlinear Effects of Stand Age on Fire Severity. Conservation Letters 7, 355-370.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2015) Conservation advice: Gymnobelideus leadbeateri Leadbeater's Possum.

Woinarski JCZ, Burbidge AA and Harrison PL (2014) The Action Plan for Australian Mammals 2012. (CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria)

Appendix 1: A bibliography of key Leadbeater's Possum publications 2012-2016

Management

Australian Government (2015) Threatened Species Strategy.

Australian Government (2015) Leadbeater's Possum Action Plan.

Australian Government (2016) DRAFT National Recovery Plan for Leadbeater's possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri). Commonwealth of Australia.

DELWP (2014) Action Statement No. 62. Leadbeater's Possum Gymnobelideus leadbeateri. Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act 1988.

DELWP (2015) Supporting the Recovery of the Leadbeater's Possum: Progress Report October 2015.

Leadbeater's Possum Advisory Group (2014) Leadbeater's Possum Recommendations: Report to the Minister for En vironment and Climate Change and the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security. Department of Environment and Primary Industries, East Melbourne.

Leadbeater's Possum Advisory Group (2014) Leadbeater's Possum Technical Report: Report to the Minister for Environment and Climate Change and the Minister for Agriculture and Food Security. Department of Environment and Primary Industries, East Melbourne.

Lindenmayer DB, Blanchard W, McBurney L, Blair D, Banks S, Likens GE, Franklin JF, Laurance WF, Stein J and Gibbons P (2012) Interacting factors driving a major loss of large trees with cavities in a forest ecosystem. PLoS One 7 Lindenmayer, DB and Possingham HP (2013) No excuse for habitat destruction. Science 340, 680.

Lindenmayer DB, Blanchard W, McBurney L, Blair D, Banks S, Driscoll D, Smith A and Gill AM (2013) Fire severity and landscape context effects on arboreal marsupials. Biological Conservation 167, 137-148.

Lindenmayer DB, Blair D, McBurney L and Banks S (2013) New restoration forest management prescriptions to conserve Leadbeater's possum and rebuild the cover of ecologically mature forest in the Central Highlands of Victoria. Fenner School of Environment and Society, The Australian National University, Canberra.

Lindenmayer DB, Barton PS, Lane PW, Westgate MJ, McBurney L, Blair D, Gibbons P and Likens GE (2014) An empirical assessment and comparison of species-based and habitat-based surrogates: a case study of forest vertebrates and large old trees. PLoS One 9

Lindenmayer DB, Blair D, McBurney L and Banks SC (2015) Ignoring the science in failing to conserve a faunal icon--major political, policy and management problems in preventing the extinction of Leadbeater's possum. Pacific Conservation Biology 21, 257-265.

Taylor C, McCarthy MA and Lindenmayer DB (2014) Nonlinear Effects of Stand Age on Fire Severity. Conservation Letters 7: 355-370.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (2015) Conservation advice: Gymnobelideus leadbeateri Leadbeater's Possum.

Woinarski JCZ, Burbidge AA and Harrison PL (2014) The Action Plan for Australian Mammals 2012. (CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria)

Surveys

DELWP (2015) Threatened Species Survey Standard: Leadbeater's Possum. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Melbourne.

Harley DPK, Holland GJ, Hradsky BA and Antrobus JS (2014) The use of camera traps to detect arboreal mammals: lessons from targeted surveys for the cryptic Lead beater's Possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri) pp. 233-243 In Eds PD Meek, PJS Fleming, G Ballard, P Banks, AW Claridge, J Sanderson and D Swann. Camera Trapping: Wildlife Management and Research. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood, Victoria.

Harley D (2015) The use of call imitation to establish territory occupancy by Leadbeater's possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri). Australian Mammalogy 37, 116-119.

Holland GJ, Harley DKP, Hradsky BaK and Antrobus JS (2012) The effectiveness of remote cameras for detecting the endangered Leadbeater's Possum Gymnobelideus leadbeateri. Unpublished Technical Report submitted to the Natural Values Fire Recovery Program, Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria.

Lindenmayer DB, Blanchard W, McBurney L, Blair D, Banks S, Driscoll D, Smith A and Gill AM (2013) Fire severity and landscape context effects on arboreal marsupials. Biological Conservation 167, 137-148.

Lumsden LF, Nelson JL, Todd CR, Scroggie MP, McNabb EG, Raadik TA, Smith SJ, Acevedo S, Cheers G, Jemison ML and Nicol Md (2013) A New Strategic Approach to Biodiversity Management--Research Component. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research Unpublished Client Report for the Department of Environment and Primary Industries, Heidelberg, Victoria.

Nelson JL, Lumsden LF, Durkin LK, Bryant DB, Macak PV, Cripps JK, Smith SJ, Scroggie MP and Cashmore MP (2015) Targeted surveys for Leadbeater's Possum in 2014-15. Report for the Leadbeater's Possum Implementation Committee. Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research. Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, Heidelberg, Victoria.

Received 21 December 2015; accepted 12 May 2016

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Dan Harley

Wildlife Conservation & Science Department, Zoos Victoria

PO Box 248, Healesville, Victoria 3777. Email address: dharley@zoo.org.au
COPYRIGHT 2016 The Field Naturalists Club of Victoria Inc.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2016 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Contributions
Author:Harley, Dan
Publication:The Victorian Naturalist
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Jun 1, 2016
Words:8389
Previous Article:The conservation of mammals in Victoria's roadsides.
Next Article:Recovering the mainland Eastern Barred Bandicoot.
Topics:

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2022 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters |