Busselton Senior High School Year 10 students made 8 possum boxes for the Western Ringtail Possum and assisted tree specialists install the boxes on school grounds in peppermint trees.
The possum boxes were installed to provide nesting options for the critically endangered possums “Although ringtails build their own nests called dreys, installing possum boxes provides them with an easy option providing protection from predators” said GeoCatch Officer Nicole Lincoln. “It is also a great way to get the students and local community involved in helping an iconic species in our own backyard”.
Busselton Senior High School teacher Ross Lightermoet has been instrumental in getting students to build possum boxes that meet design specifications agreed on by leading agencies.
“It is wonderful to see that teachers and students alike are getting on board to help with the recovery of this iconic and critically endangered species” said Nicole.
Students were also treated to a classroom visit by an orphaned ringtail that accompanied wildlife carer Joanne Armstrong from FAWNA and were educated on the importance of helping to protect this species. Students then assisted tree specialists outside to install their handmade possum boxes in suitable habitat trees.
Trees were identified for possum box installation based on guidelines supported by the Western Ringtail Action Group. In 2019, students with support from GeoCatch will revisit the installed possum boxes to see if any possums are using their new homes, and students will continue to monitor usage throughout the year.
There is estimated to be less than 8000 Western Ringtail Possums remaining, and the Busselton and Dunsborough areas support the last stronghold populations of this iconic species.
For further information on possum box design visit our ‘Helping Western Ringtail Possums‘ page.
This project is supported by GeoCatch and South West Catchments Council through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.