Researchers find the smallest baby animal

Recently, researchers from the Australian Wildlife Conservancy were checking some of the animal nesting boxes at the North Head Sanctuary, in the hope that someone might be there. They approached one of the nesting boxes and were delighted to find a tiny animal, smaller than a little finger, weighing only 7 grams.

It was an incredible sign.

The little animal was a baby eastern pygmy opossum, one of the smallest opossums in the world. The discovery of this opossum was great news, as it showed that the opossum populations at the sanctuary were improving. If that opossum was here, that meant there was a lot more.

“Conservation researcher Viyanna Leo explains that the eastern pygmy opossums on the reserve “are a reintroduced population, and finding healthy new juveniles is a positive sign that individuals are reproducing and contributing to the population”.

The conservancy’s mission is to restore native mammal species to this part of Australia and in doing so, improve the ecosystem.

Oriental pygmy possums are nocturnal. Since they are so small and rarely come out during the day, it is very interesting to see one. During cooler months, researchers can keep opossums drowsy during routine checks.

“You can often pull them out of nest boxes, and they will continue to sleep in your hand,” Leo said.

This baby will live with his mother for a while longer in their nest before becoming totally independent and fending for himself. As opossum populations continue to grow and thrive, it’s clear the little guy has a bright future ahead of him.

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