The Mountain Pygmy Possum Breeding Centre has officially opened with the first family of possums including four new babies taking up residence.
Part of a $1.3 million development at Lithgow’s Secret Creek Sanctuary from the Bushfire Local Economic Recovery (BLER) Fund this is the first of multiple projects at the venue to be completed.
Originating from the Victorian Alps, the 14 possums are thriving in the new habitat created and they’ve now had 4 possum babies since moving in.
The breeding centre comprises of thermally stable outdoor and indoor enclosures with insulated rock walls and nest boxes deep inside. The breeding centre is complete with a research & observation room, office area, quarantine rooms, storage room and food preparation area.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole met with the Secret Creek’s team to officially open the centre.
“The Breeding Centre will help endangered species like the Mountain Pygmy Possum return to their previous population numbers,” he said.
“This is an important step in securing the future of the species and returning normality to our delicate ecosystem.”
Mr Toole said the planned wildlife rescue and rehabilitation hospital will be a great addition to the breeding centre and will provide a venue for the rescue, rehabilitation and release of native animals, with the 1000-acre Newnes Plateau serving as a release site.
“Funding for the projects at the Secret Creek Sanctuary are part of the recovery journey of the Lithgow region following the bushfires and helps us to continue repairing the social and economic fabric of our local community,” he said.
In operation since 2001 and with a vegan café established on site, Secret Creek Sanctuary is shaping up to be Lithgow’s next popular tourist attraction. The facility is also playing an integral role in saving endangered native species, especially since the disastrous 2019/2020 bushfire season.
Founder and owner for Secret Creek Sanctuary Trevor Evans said the breeding facility is a big step forward for the sanctuary and the possum breed.
“This facility has been decades in the making with a lot of research and hard work to get to us to where we stand today,” said Mr Evans.
“Next on the agenda is to complete construction of a Wildlife Hospital and Rehabilitation Centre, Cultural and Visitor Centre plus restoring the 1.2 km Sanctuary walking track, which was destroyed in the 2019/2020 bushfires.”