Raising awareness about our special Western Ringtail Possums in our community has continued in 2015 with the Western Ringtail Action Group (WRAG), with sponsorship from GeoCatch, successfully securing funding through the National Landcare Program. The funding will be used for revegetation projects using possum habitat species and the continuation of the ever popular possum nightstalks that are held in the Easter and Spring school holidays. Another exciting activity to be funded for the first time will be a “possum count” event. This will involve the community becoming citizen scientists for one evening in Spring when we will count ringtail possums at several sites in Busselton and Dunsborough and repeat the event annually to establish urban possum population data.
Continuing to raise awareness about Western Ringtail Possums is more important than ever, with their conservation status being upgraded from ‘threatened’ to ‘endangered’ at the end on 2014. The clearing of peppermint trees and predation by cats and dogs are the biggest threats to their survival. All of us can help these special creatures survive by maintaining peppie trees on our property or planting one in our gardens. They grow fast, look good and provide fantastic, cool shade in summer. Keeping pets inside at night to keep our possums safe is another important way to help the possums as they traverse along our fencelines to reach peppermint trees and visit other areas within their territories.
More information on the Western Ringtail Possum is available on our website.