Help us change their future

This spring, the critically endangered Mountain Pygmy-possum needs your help

Each spring, Mountain Pygmy-possums wake up from hibernation, hungry for nutritious Bogong Moths to eat.

Bogong Moths usually fly to the possums’ mountain home in the billions, but this hasn’t happened in the past three years, which now means there often isn’t enough food for these tiny possums to raise their babies.

In 2020, we need your help to know if the moths are coming and learn more so we can help them in the future.

How you can help: Upload a Bogong Moth sighting to Moth Tracker

It's simple - if you see a Bogong Moth, take a photo and upload it to Zoos Victoria's Moth Tracker webpage at the link below.

It’s quick and easy and is the best way to help scientists save this precious species.

Not sure if the moth you've seen is a Bogong Moth? We can help with an identification guide on the webpage.

Photo by Donald Hobern
Photo by Donald Hobern

How to identify a Bogong Moth

Think you've seen a Bogong Moth? Our team will look at your picture to identify whether it’s a Bogong Moth or not so please still upload any photos of any moths you see. If you want to have a go at identifying a Bogong Moth yourself, this may help:

  • Bogong Moths are usually around 4-5cm long and their body length is up to 2.5cm long
  • They have a dark stripe that runs down each wing
  • They have a spot at the top of the stripe that is shaped like a circle
  • They also have a spot at the bottom of the stripe which is shaped like a kidney
  • Both spots are the same colour

 

What are Mountain Pygmy-possums?

With big ears, large eyes, a curly tail and weighing around 45g, the Mountain Pygmy-possums are arguably Australia's cutest possum. They are also Australia's only hibernating marsupial, making them extra special.

They are classified as critically endangered, with fewer than 2,000 left in the wild and their most urgent threat is now the loss of their spring food source, the Bogong Moth.

Mountain Pygmy-possums are one of the 27 local threatened species that Zoos Victoria are fighting tirelessly to save from extinction.

Learn more about Mountain Pygmy-possums.

 

Where have the Bogong Moths gone?

Bogong Moths usually migrate each year from southern Queensland, central NSW and western Victoria to the Australian Alps. They are facing a number of challenges along the way, but we can all do our bit to help!

Planting native flowers, turning off unnecessary outdoor nights at night and not using insecticides are little things that can make a big difference. And don’t forget to let us know if you see one! Upload your Bogong Moth sightings to Moth Tracker.

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What Zoos Victoria is doing to help

The Victorian Mountain Pygmy-Possum Recovery Team, together with supporting organisations, is also working hard to implement interventions in the wild.

These include developing new nutritious food sources, improving habitat connectivity and captive measures to support populations through the breeding season.