We’d like to introduce : Fern the Forest Fairy!
Fern the Forest Fairy is Geocaching Melbourne’s official mascot. The Leadbeater’s Possums are also known as forest fairies and we think they are the cutest thing ever 🙂
About Fern the Forest Fairy
Leadbeater’s possum (Gymnobelideus leadbeateri also known as Forest Fairy) is a critically endangered possum restricted to small pockets of remaining old growth mountain ash forests in the Central Highlands of Victoria north-east of Melbourne. The species was named after John Leadbeater, the then taxidermist at the Museum Victoria. In 1968, the State of Victoria made the Leadbeater’s possum its faunal emblem.
They live in hollows in Mountain Ash, Alpine Ash and Shining Gum trees. Leadbeater’s Possums need hollow trees in which to build their nests for sleeping and breeding and these are usually over 150 years in age and may be dead or alive. They prefer habitat which has a dense understory of wattle to enable them to safely negotiate their way through the forest and to find their food without being predated upon by owls. Trees with shedding bark are also important to their survival as they find insects and spiders under the bark and take strips of shredded back back to their hollows to build their dense nests. They carry the bark in their curled up tail. Very few people have ever seen Leadbeater’s Possums in the forests and this is why they are called forest fairies.
During the 2009 bushfires about 50% of the habitat was lost putting a severe pressure on the species. On top of that the local logging industry puts further pressure on the survival of our little friends. Today leadbeater possums are critically endangered and some effort has been made to ensure the survival of Victoria’s Faunal emblem. Read more about the fairy possum on Wikipedia or the webpage of Zoos Victoria.
Please read our guidelines about artwork usage if you want to use Fern for yourself 🙂