The Eastern pygmy possum is a marsupial living in south-eastern Australia. It is a dull gray color above and white below, and has a long prehensile tail which has thick fur at its base that thins out towards the tip, big, almost hairless ears that point forward, long whiskers, and thin rings of dark fur around its eyes.
Eastern pygmy possums inhabit the coast of southeastern Australian, from eastern South Australia to the south of Queensland, as well as Tasmania. They occur in shrubby vegetation in a wide range of habitats, from open shrubland or heathland to sclerophyll or rainforest.
An Eastern pygmy possum is nocturnal, and, although this species is thought to be solitary, they have been known to share nests and to gather in groups numbering two or more adults. The home ranges of males are 0.24 to 1.7 hectares (0.59 to 4.20 acres), and they overlap with each other, as well as with the smaller ranges of females - 0.18 to 0.61 hectares (0.44 to 1.51 acres). Males often travel further than females, though both are rather sedentary. These possums are skillful climbers and leapers. In winter, in order to conserve energy, for extended periods they remain torpid, with the stored fat in their tail as a source of energy.
Eastern pygmy possums are usually polygynous, which means that one male gets exclusive mating rights with multiple females. There are two different breeding seasons. On the mainland of Australia breeding is from spring to autumn, and on Tasmania the season is from late winter until spring. A female of this species has a well-developed pouch, usually giving birth to four young, though larger litters can be produced. Gestation is for about 30 days, and then the young stay in the pouch for 33 to 37 days. At 60 to 65 days old they are weaned, and they remain with their mother at least for ten more days, until they are about 10 grams (0.35 oz). They reach their full adult size at about five months, but can breed as early as three months old.
The logging and grazing industries of Tasmania are a serious threat to the Eastern pygmy possum. Clear-cutting and regeneration currently drive these animals from areas they previously inhabited.
According to IUCN, the Eastern pygmy is common and relatively widespread throughout its range but no overall population estimate is available. Currently this species is classified as Least Concern (LC), but its numbers today are decreasing.
The Eastern pygmy helps in the pollination of certain flowers.