The Leadbeater’s possum recently became the 7,000th species added to the National Geographic Photo Ark. Photographer and National Geographic Photo Ark founder Joel Sartore had the opportunity to photograph this critically endangered species at the Healesville Sanctuary, part of Zoos Victoria, in Australia.
This nocturnal marsupial is found in the eucalyptus and acacia forests of Central Victoria in Australia. These animals spend most of their time in their dens high up inside large, hollow trees. The Leadbeater’s possum was missing in action for more than 50 years before being rediscovered in 1961. The tiny possums are speedy and feisty, and, with estimates as low as 50 for the Lowland population, their status has recently been upgraded to critically endangered. Zoos Victoria has led extensive research on the possum for a number years and hopes to begin a breeding population soon.