Leadbeater's Possum - Fisheries and Wildlife Division case for Leadbeater's Possum reserve 1976

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'Leadbeater's Possum - Fisheries and Wildlife Division case for Leadbeater's Possum reserve 1976 is associated with ' located at these coordinates -37.5579634, 145.881679

The Fisheries and Wildlife Division were concerned that recommendations from the Land Conservation Council Melbourne Study Area had not taken into account recent habitat requirements for Leadbeater's Possum. They proposed to raise the possibility of creating a reserve for the possum with the Minister.

Record Citation: PROV VPRS 11559/P1/311
Record URL: http://www.access.prov.vic.gov.au/public/component/daPublicBaseContainer?component=daViewSeries&entityId=11559
Agency: VA 551
Agency URL: http://access.prov.vic.gov.au/public/component/daPublicBaseContainer?component=daViewAgency&entityId=551
Date: 8/7/76
Record Type: Memorandum
Event Type:
Language: en
Copyright URL: http://prov.vic.gov.au/copyright
Related Resource URL: http://wiki.prov.vic.gov.au/index.php/Leadbeater%27s_Possum_-_The_Conservation_of_Leadbeaters_Possum_by_J.H._Seebeck
Thumbnail URL:
User Tags: leadbeater's possum, s.j.cowling, j.c.f. wharton, land conservation council, melbourne study area, j.seebeck, i.u.c.n

Image Transcript Margin Notes Body of Transcript
FWD case for Leadbeaters Possum reserve 1.jpg Hand written text:

X 77/6/ 93/7/1

Received by me 15/7/76

Mr Dempster,

please prepare suitable draft with references, + discuss with me so that a final draft may be submitted to Director.

[illegible signature] 15/7/76.

Mr Seebeck, please consider


Present status & distribution

known ecology

management needs.

significance of L. C. C. recs


received JHS 22 Jul 1976.

Fisheries and Wildlife Division


To: Mr S. J. Cowling, Assistant Director (Wildlife)

From: Mr J. C. Wharton, Director

Subject: Case for a wildlife reserve to conserve Leadbeaters Possum in the Melbourne Study Area of the LCC

File ref.: jcfw.hk

8th July 1976

You may remember I talked to you about this matter on the 21st June.

I believe we have a classic case for the provision of a reserve in the Melbourne Study area to conserve Leadbeater's possum despite the fact that the LCC recommendations for the area have not accepted this. Please have prepared for me a document giving the strongest possible support for our claim for a reserve in the Melbourne area. I will use this document in a speacial approach to the Minister some time before the LCC recommendations for the Melbourne Study area are finally considered by Cabinet.



Image Transcript Margin Notes Body of Transcript
FWD case for Leadbeaters Possum reserve 2.jpg Fisheries and Wildlife Division


To: The Director,

From: j.k.dempster

Subject: Land Conservation Council. Melbourne Recommendations.

Conservation of Leadbeaters Possum.

File ref.:

8th March 1977

In 1974 and 1976 this Division recommended to the Land Conservation Council that some wildlife reserves should be established in the Melbourne study area with the primary objective of conserving Leadbeaters possum. No such provision was made in the Council's final recommendations to Cabinet which were published late in February.

At your request, Mr Seebeck has now completed a thorough review of our knowledge of Leadbeaters possum and the implications for management of the species.

I suggest that this would be the most opportune time to present the review to the Minister and ask if he would have the L.C.C. recommendations discussed at Cabinet in the new light provided by the report.

Accordingly I request that you bring the following recommendations to the Minister's attention :

1. That a strong argument (and, we believe, solid community support) exists for the establishment of a large wildlife reserve in Victoria for the conservation of Leadbeaters possum.

Other resources would be available from such a reserve; water, timber, recreational use by the public and the conservation of many other plants and animals, but the conservation of the possum would be given absolute priority over all others and to that end the reserve should be under the management of this Division.

The best area would be based on the possum populations near Cumberland Valley/Lake Mountain, as recommended to the L.C.C. in 1974.

2. That a special allocation of funds should be made by the State Government with some confidence in its continuity over (say) five years to enable a detailed study to be undertaken of the biology of Gymnobelideus leadbeateri and the effects of forest management practices on this and other wildlife in ash forests. (This would be an extension of studies at present being planned to investigate some of the fundamental ecology of animals in forests).

3. That the Minister should be aware that many ill informed and plainly misleading comments are being used to disseminate the belief that the conservation of Leadbeaters possum can be assured in conjunction with, or maybe even result as a consequence of, the continued use of all Victoria's Ash Forests primarily for the production of cellulose.


Image Transcript Margin Notes Body of Transcript
FWD case for Leadbeaters Possum reserve 3.jpg This is not the case and I believe Mr Seebeck's report will provide the Minister with the information needed to contest these claims as he may see fit. It also demonstrates that a fundamental change is needed in the mechanisms by which adequate habitat can be protected and funds made available for research and management, if this species and many others are to be effectively conserved.

Further I recommend that either you or the Minister should send a copy of the report to I.U.C.N. and suggest that as a result of the review it is evident that the current Red Data Book Entry concerning Leadbeaters possum is in need of revision in the following particulars.

(a) The Color-coded sheet indicates that the species is now considered to be out of danger. This is not so.

(b) Status : The habitat is most certainly not secure.

(c) Distribution: There is no reason to belive that the range will be extended into NSW or significantly in Victoria.

(d) Population: The increasing number of sightings probably really reflects increased search activity more than population increase or expansion.

(e) Habitat: The essential habitat is not second-growth forest but mature or regenerating forest with mature trees present.

(f) Conservation measures taken: Legislative protection now under Wildlife Act 1975 (8699). Protection in State Forest and water catchment areas is relatively meaningless.

(g) Remarks: There is no official document or factual assessment to support the statement that the Fisheries and Wildlife Division no longer considers the species rare or endangered.


O/C Wildlife Research.

To support their case, Fisheries and Wildlife Division had John Seebeck prepare a detailed report setting out the currently known information about the Leadbeater's Possum. This report is also on the PROV Wiki site.

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