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Possums provide relief for house-bound

06 April, 2020

Looking for a fun and engaging home schooling activity you can do in your backyard?

Or do you need a pet project to get you through the monotony of isolation?

Look no further than the Ringtail Tally!

You and your family can help the plight of the critically endangered Western Ringtail Possum, simply by counting possums in your local area. The Tally runs in backyards from Dalyellup to Eagle Bay from Saturday 11 April to 10 May.

GeoCatch Project Officer, Nicole Lincoln, says the community is critical to conserving Western Ringtail Possums.

“We have one of the last stronghold populations of Western Ringtail Possums in our backyard,” said Nicole.

“The Geographe Bay Catchment contains prime habitat for this critically endangered species, of which there is thought to be less than 8000 remaining in the wild.

“Local residents have the unique opportunity to be actively involved in the conservation of this species.”

Learning about Western Ringtail Possums through citizen science links with the Australian Curriculum and increases awareness of this unique species on our doorstep.

The Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions puts the Tally information into the WA Threatened Species Database and the results are shared with the community as an infographic snapshot. This is the fifth consecutive year the Tally has been run.

“The information collected increases our knowledge about where possums are found and in what numbers,” said Nicole.

“The data becomes more valuable each year and is now used as a reference for population trends, future planning decisions and conservation projects.”

The Western Ringtail Action Group (WRAG) also plays a vital role in this initiative as educators, rescuers and ambassadors for Western Ringtail Possum on a daily basis. WRAG members will be involved in the 2020 Tally.

A possum box will be awarded to a lucky winner who returns their completed tally data sheet by 31 May. It was kindly constructed by the Men’s Shed in Busselton, with support from GeoCatch, the City of Busselton and FAWNA.

This project is supported by South West Catchments Council, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

To register and receive your data sheet online visit EventBrite, or contact GeoCatch on 9781 0111 or geocatch@dwer.wa.gov.au.