The Leadbeater possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri) is one of the rarest subspecies. It is a non-gliding possum. Fairy possum is the other name of leadbeater possum. It is found in Australia. The possum was long thought to be extinct until in 1961 when scientists rediscovered.
The evolution of leadbeater possum had begun 20 million years ago.
Adult possums grow 33 cm in body length. The possum has 14.5 – 18 cm long tail. Adults weigh 100 – 170 grams.
Leadbeater possum makes home in a variety of habitats such as mountain ash, alpine ash, shining gum, snow and gum forests. The possum makes habitat at high altitudes of 500 – 1,500 meters above the sea level.
The possum is found in north-east of Melbourne and Victoria.
Possums are omnivores. Leadbeater possum eats exudates, wattle saps, and lerps. They will also consume termites, loose barks of eucalyptus, beetles, crickets, and spiders. The leadbeater possum likes to feed on arthropods.
Leadbeater possum becomes active at night. They climb up the trees and reach to the top. Possums live in some of the tallest trees in the world.
They will build nests 30 meters above the ground. The female gives birth to 2 joeys after a short gestation period of 20 days. The birth usually takes place in May or June but it can also occur in October and November.
Leadbeater possums can live as long as 7 – 8 years in the wild.
Owls are possibly the only predators of leadbeader possum.
The IUCN Red List has listed it as an endangered species. The primary reason for the decline in its population is logging.