Monday March 28th until Sunday 3rd April 2016 is the Leadbeater’s Possum awareness week – a time for learning and sharing about this precious endangered species.
The tiny Leadbeater’s Possum was presumed extinct by 1960, simply because none had been seen for 50 years. Then, in 1961, a single possum was rediscovered by naturalist Eric Wilkinson near Marysville, 90 minutes east of Melbourne – a long way from it’s original habitat in Gippsland! In 1968 it was made the official faunal emblem of Victoria. Also known as Fairy Possum, the Leadbeater’s Possum is a tiny, nocturnal creature with large eyes and a long tail measuring around 10 to 15cm in length. It requires old growth eucalypt trees with established hollows for its home.
Due to the effects of logging and the Black Saturday bush fires, much of the Possums natural habitat has been lost. With numbers as low as 1500, they have been declared as critically endangered.
How you can help them:
- Buy some Donation Soap from us – Profits go to the Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum inc. who are a team of volunteers working hard at preserving and protecting our little furry friends. You can also join them to help out on one of their projects.
Happy Leadbeater’s Possum awareness week!
Here at The Australian Natural Soap Company we believe in giving back to the community. We are a small growing business ourselves and we understand the importance of receiving support and encouragement from those around us, so we came up with a concept that allows us to do that kindness for others.
With the release of our Donation Soap in late 2015 came the opportunity to raise awareness and funding for not-for-profit organizations that we see as the positive change makers of the modern world. We are passionate about doing the right thing when it comes to environmental and animal welfare issues, so these are the kind of groups we had in mind to work with.
Our first partnership for this project was a small team of dedicated volunteers who run the Goongerah Wombat Orphanage in Far East Gippsland.
Wombats are one of the beautiful Australian animals that fall victim to our roads all too often. Many drivers do not pay enough attention on the roads that pass through bush land that is home to many native creatures, resulting in unfortunate deaths and injuries of our treasured wildlife.
The Goongerah Wombat Orphanage is devoted to saving the lives of the injured and orphaned wombats that survive these accidents. Their work is endless and tiresome, but is fuelled by love and passion. The care of furry orphans from the wild entails unique methods for providing them with the food, bedding and medicine that they need in their vulnerable state of separation from the pouch.
Sometimes there are orphans so young they barely have fur, so it really is like taking in a baby! At this age they require very regular feeding and temperature control, which means many sleepless nights and constant attention from the carers. The milk formula that sustains the little ones is about $150 per five kilos. As they grow they are introduced to oats and sweet potatoes, which become their staple diet along with munching on grass.
They start out sleeping in handmade pouches until they are old enough to begin the move outside where bales of hay are provided for the big kids and any grown ups that have been released who return now and then when times are tough.
So, what these carers have taken on is months of expensive milk formula per orphan and maybe years of oats and vegetables to fill the always hungry wombat bellies, plus bedding and vet bills when health issues arise – all out of their own pocket!
So that, friends, is why we chose to donate to the Goongerah Wombat Orphanage and we are proud to have raised $336 through the sales of our Donation Soap in store and online. With many thanks from the GWO, and us, we hope that you will continue to support our endeavour to raise awareness and funding for those who are courageous enough to bring positive change into the world around them.