During the unrelenting bushfires in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, millions of animals lost their lives. In fact, it’s estimated that between October of 2019 and February of 2020, 1.5 billion animals perished. Besides destroying miles of land and thousands of buildings, it was feared that a rare species was lost forever.
Thankfully, as experts continue to canvas the affected land, they are finding that both plants and animals they thought were extinct had actually been strong enough to survive. It’s the silver lining people prayed for! One such creature that was assumed lost considering its rarity and size was found again recently by conservation experts. Despite their tiny stature, the pygmy possum proved to be tiny but mighty!
The shocking part of this discovery is that before the bushfires, there were only 113 pygmy possums on record living on Kangaroo Island. The little critters, weighing only 7 grams on average, are the world’s smallest possum.
Scientists continue to search the continent and are finding that more animals survived than previously thought. People are celebrating every discovery as a victory! Among the pygmy possum, so far 20 other animal species, thought lost, have been rediscovered.
Species such as the Bibron’s toadlet, a southern brown bandicoot, and a type of wallaby, have also been found living amongst the charred vegetation. It’s miraculous, to say the least! In some cases, the bushfires actually accelerated plant growth by spreading seeds into open ash beds.
The plant life has helped these endangered animals thrive, such as the southern brown bandicoot. They are now living the good life on truffles that are growing like wildfire (excuse the pun) across the land. To learn more about this inspiring story, and what our beautiful planet is capable of, check out the video below! The pygmy possum is also too cute to miss!