Kallista teen fights for possums

18 Oct 11 @ 07:00am by Alex Munro

http://free-press-leader.whereilive.com.au/news/story/kallista-teen-fights-for-possums/

A KALLISTA teenager is leading a campaign to save the endangered Leadbeater’s possum.

Elly Robertson, 14, is one of three teenagers from the eastern suburbs that make up the Help the Endangered Leadbeater’s Possum group.

“We try to help in every respect we can, whether it’s habitat regeneration, attending to feeding stations at Lake Mountain, or raising awareness,” said Elly, who founded the group after learning how Black Saturday had decimated the species.

Elly said it was sometimes difficult balancing the work with school, “but it’s worth it at the end of the day.”

“I want my generation to get out there and do what they can to help. It would be sad to see an animal become extinct when something could have been done about it,” Elly said.

Elly and fellow group members Emily and Rachel, who all attend St Margaret’s School in Berwick, dedicate hours every week to their work.

Despite being the state’s emblem, the Leadbeater’s possum is endangered; its population is estimated at fewer than 1000.

Healesville Sanctuary is about to start a captive breeding program.

Sanctuary threatened species curator Dr Melanie Lancaster said Elly and her team had developed creative ways to engage the community about the possum’s plight.


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