The Bobuck Underground
The Discovery of the Southern Bobucks of Gippsland
The Bobuck Underground was a biodiversity survey of Southern Bobucks (Trichosurus cunninghami), formerly called Mountain Brushtail Possums, that live in lowland Gippsland, the eastern province of Victoria in Australia. They are remarkable because they appear to be survivors from the days before the West Strzelecki forest was cut down in the late 19th through to the early 20th century.
They have survived the destruction of their forest home by adapting to habitat niches that are unusual for an animal that, technically speaking, is arboreal.
Hence the play-on-words for my survey name: The Bobuck Under Ground.
They are remarkable, too, because they are moderately large animals that spend most of their time on or near the ground. They live in patches of remnant scrub in the midst of farmland in Gippsland, Victoria. Yet, until this Survey discovered them, they remained unrecorded and unknown to science. It just shows, there are discoveries to be made by those who are observant and prepared.
These animals are living testimony to life's resilience: Life Will Find A Way. But they also tell us how important it is to preserve our native forests, and to do this sensibly in Australia's drought and fire-prone landscape. For without isolated patches of remnant habitat in Gippsland, their kind of life may not have found a way.
Copyright © 2009 to D. Hynes. All rights reserved.