Because the world’s smallest possum had not been seen on Australia’s Kangaroo Island since the fires just over a year ago, many ecologists feared the pygmy possum, like many other species, had been wiped out by the fires devastation.
Almost half of the island's 1,700 square miles were burnt in December 2018 and January 2019, and much of the plant and animal habitat was destroyed.
Just a few days ago, however, there was a sign of life when one of the tiny possums was found on the island for the first time since 2019. The conservation group Kangaroo Island Land for Wildlife found the animal as part of a larger conservationist effort across the island.
Pygmy possums weigh between 6 -10 grams and are just a bit bigger than the average human thumb, and the animal's size makes it extremely hard to track. Before the recent discovery, there had only been 113 formal recorded sighting of pigmy possums on the island.
It’s estimated that the Australian wildfires killed more than a billion animals.