The Mahogany Glider Joey, an Australian possum, is the first of its kind to be born in captivity in two years, giving hope for the survival of the endangered species.
“If we can breed these species successfully, there then lies hope that at some time in the future they may be able to be released back out into the wild and our conservation efforts can have maximum impact,” says Rebecca Lynch, manager at the Wildlife Habitat Port Douglas. “Breeding endangered species in captive environments is extremely important to maintain viable genetics, as the numbers of these animals have diminished to such a degree that they may disappear forever without intervention.”
The possum returned from extinction in 1989, and there are only 1,500 remaining individuals in the wild. Hence the efforts, like the breeding program established by the Wildlife Habitat, to maintain a healthy captive population and endangered species like the Mahogany Glider Joey.