How does a pygmy-possum get to the other side of the road? Well, if you are a Mountain Pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus) at Mt Little Higginbotham in the Mt Hotham Alpine Resort, you probably don't.
How does a pygmy-possum get to the other side of the road?
Well, if you are a Mountain Pygmy-possum (Burramys parvus) at Mt Little Higginbotham in the Mt Hotham Alpine Resort, you probably don't.
That's why the Victorian Government has invested $25,000 through its Threatened Species Protection Initiative (TSPI) to develop a project plan for the construction of a new rock corridor linking crucial Mountain Pygmy-possum habitat above and below the Great Alpine Road.
"Mountain Pygmy-possums, affectionately known as Burramys, are listed as threatened under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee (FFG) Act and in need of help to ensure the population at Mt Hotham not only remains but thrives," Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning's (DELWP) Senior Biodiversity Officer, Jerry Alexander, said.
"With Dr Andrew Weeks from University of Melbourne, we determined in 2013 that the Great Alpine Road was acting as a barrier to the movement of the possums at Mt Little Higginbotham," Mr Alexander said.
"Possums from above and below the road are isolated from each other meaning the two populations rarely interbreed.
"Reconnecting habitats using a rock corridor has been successful on the mountain in the past.
"Known as the original 'tunnel of love', a rock corridor was constructed in the mid-1980s and benefited the Mt Higginbotham East possum population.
"The planning and design phases have now been completed for the new corridor, in collaboration with the Mt Hotham Resort Management Board."
Project ManagerGeorgina Boardman, from the Mt Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board, has worked with DELWP, VicRoads, Biosis, Foresight Engineering and Coffeys Geotechnics, to develop the planning documents required to attract funding for the build.
"The construction of a new rock corridor under the Great Alpine Road at Cherokee Corner will be a winner for the possum," Ms Boardman said.
"The next step will be to explore the most suitable funding partnerships to build the engineering design to re-connect the Burramys population."
"The corridor will reduce the restricted gene flow at Mt Little Higginbotham and reconnect crucial habitat, as well avoid any major disruption to other assets such as underground power cables, the road and native vegetation."
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