Leadbeater's Possum is Victoria's faunal emblem. They are now critically endangered due to loss of habitat from decades of clear fell logging and from the devastating 2009 bushfires. Their habitat range is now very limited stretching from Alpine areas around Lake Mountain, through the Mountain Ash forests of the Central Highlands and to a small remnant population in the lowland swamp forests in the Yellingbo Nature Conservation Reserve. Prior to the 2009 Black Saturday Bushfires, which burnt 42% of their prime habitat forest located in their Permanent Reserve System, their population was estimated to be 2,500 individuals. Post fire the estimates are closer to just 1,000 individuals left in the wild, with no animals in captivity.
In 2004, Friends of Leadbeater's Possum Inc. was established to raise awareness of the plight of Leadbeater's Possum and to represent their needs for survival in the wild. Since the start of the group we have successfully re-started the Leadbeater's Possum Recovery Team of experts to oversee their management needs, educated students in dozens of schools about their faunal emblem, raised funds for habitat enhancement in Yellingbo Reserve and supported almost 200 custom made recycled plastic nest box to be made and installed to provide addition nesting sites in their areas of degraded habitat.
We have a very active membership base of over 200 members. Our members help us deliver a wide range of activities including; outreach activities in our communities, visiting schools to deliver forest conservation education programs, installing and monitoring nest boxes in the forest, supplementary feeding in the wild for the few Leadbeater's who survived the bushfires on Lake Mountain, monitoring forest use and the impacts of clear fell logging in Leadbeater's areas and advocating on their behalf to government to stop the habitat destruction that is pushing them towards extinction.
We need to raise funds to support our programs over the next few years. Given the impact of the 2009 bushfires it is now very critical that we try and save all areas of remaining habitat from destruction to give them any chance of long term survival in the wild. To this end our group is focusing on three areas of action: Conservation, Education and Research.
For more information on Leadbeater's Possum, how our group is active in trying to save them in the wild and how you can get involved please visit our website on www.leadbeaters.org.au.
Funds raised will be used to support a range of our on-going programs, and also allow us to develop new ones for targeted needs under of three focus areas; Conservation, Education, Research.
Funds will be used to provide more on-ground conservation actions including habitat enhancement through tree planting or nest box installation. They will also support our advocacy efforts that may require external expertise in the form of aerial mapping or expert advice.
We will also use funds to support our community outreach efforts, including upcoming events at the Melbourne Museum and larger environment and sustainability festivals.
Funds will also be used to help train our volunteers for field activities, provide them with essential safety gear where required and increase the skills of our volunteers in program management promotion.
Funds raised will also allow us to engage qualified ecological consultants to conduct independent forest surveys to check for Leadbeater's habitat in areas available for logging, to provide us with the technical details required to try and stop the logging. These surveys are critical to saving habitat and are expensive for our group due to the technical expertise and legal indemnity involved.
All of our programs require overarching elements of program administration and promotion (website management, community events and new database development). While this is largely done by volunteers we would like to provide some opportunities to employ people to implement the more extensive projects (i.e. development of a research database). Many other grants will not cover wages but much of the work we do is very demanding and at personal cost to our volunteers and we feel it is fair to provide compensation for work done above and beyond the regular volunteer input level, and we believe this more formal approach will enable us to advance our programs in a more effective way.
** We are also interested in in-kind support for our program needs and would be happy to talk to people with professional skills in financial management, legal representation, website and database development etc. **
Are donations tax deductible? No
Will I receive a receipt for my donation?
Yes, immediately sent to you by email when approved.