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Australian Mammalogy Australian Mammalogy Society
Journal of the Australian Mammal Society

Short range extension delineating the north-eastern limit, and use of atypical habitat by highland Leadbeater’s possum

Phoebe V. Macak A * , Jenny L. Nelson A , Louise K. Durkin A , Jemma K. Cripps A , Matt D. White A , Luke D. Emerson A B and Lindy F. Lumsden A
+ Author Affiliations
- Author Affiliations

A Arthur Rylah Institute for Environmental Research, Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action, PO Box 137, Heidelberg, Vic. 3084, Australia.

B School of Life and Environmental Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, Vic. 3125, Australia.

* Correspondence to:

Handling Editor: Ross Goldingay

Australian Mammalogy 46, AM23003
Submitted: 13 January 2023  Accepted: 4 September 2023  Published: 21 September 2023

© 2024 The Author(s) (or their employer(s)). Published by CSIRO Publishing on behalf of the Australian Mammal Society.


Within its core highland range, Leadbeater’s possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri) occurs predominantly in tall montane ash forest dominated by Eucalyptus regnans, E. delegatensis and E. nitens. To improve predictive modelling of suitable habitat, we surveyed ash/non-ash ecotones and also explored the species’ recently extended eastern distribution. We detected Leadbeater’s possums at 19 sites, including six in non-ash forest dominated by E. dalrympleana, E. viminalis or E. kybeanensis. This extends its known distribution by 5.5 km and appears to delineate the north-eastern limit of its range. Our results add to previous findings indicating Leadbeater’s possums have slightly broader range limits and habitat flexibility than previously thought.

Keywords: Central Highlands, Gymnobelideus leadbeateri, habitat use, Leadbeater’s possum, mixed-species forest, montane ash forest, species range, threatened species.


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