Royal Birth Gift Helps Save The Mountain Pygmy-Possum

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  • Article by Roland Bleyer
  • May 04, 2015 at 2:01 PM

The newest addition to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s family is helping save Australian wildlife, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott announcing a donation to the Healesville Sanctuary to support the important work it is doing for the Mountain Pygmy-possum.

The $10,000 gift is one part of the presents Australia is officially giving to Her Royal Highness Princess Charlotte of Cambridge,  and will help fund research that could save this rare Australian species.

“The Mountain Pygmy-possum is Australia’s only hibernating marsupial. There are fewer than 2,000 left in the wild,” Abbott says in a media statement.

“I hope one day the princess can visit Australia and hold a Mountain Pygmy-possum herself.”

Zoos Victoria has applauded the gift, explaining that the Healesville Sanctuary is the only place that maintains specialised enclosures that “replicate natural environmental cues for annual hibernation of captive-bred Mountain Pygmy-possums”.

“The small Mountain Pygmy-possum, is endangered due to loss of habitat in Alpine regions of Victoria and NSW. Luckily, we have a program for their recovery,” it explains.

“The gift, made on behalf of the people of Australia, will support research and captive breeding of the threatened species at Healesville Sanctuary.”

As well as this donation, the princess will receive a cot blanket made of Tasmanian merino wool, which Abbott says was specially “sourced from Launceston’s renowned Waverley Woollen Mills”.

“The blanket will be embroidered with the Australian floral emblem, the wattle, by members of the ACT Embroiderers’ Guild,” he says.

The announcement, made on Monday afternoon, has hit the media in a major way, as royal baby and royal birth news reach saturation point.

But the positive thing for Zoos Victoria is that this particular royal baby announcement has drawn more attention to the important work it does supporting unique Australian wildlife. So who knows? Maybe it will even lead to more donations to save the Mountain Pygmy-possum so that the princess really can hold one in the future.

Images: A toy Yowie of the Mountain Pygmy-possum, with a picture and info about it, source: Linden NZ (Flikr); pictures of the royal baby on Twitter, source: BBC Breaking News (Twitter)

 

Royal Baby BBC Twitter
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