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Nature Conservation is currently running a long term Western Ringtail Possum citizen science project, with the support of the Shire of Augusta Margaret River and the South West Catchments Council. Its aim is to better understand Western ringtail possums in our area and more specifically what vegetation types and habitat features influence Western ringtail presence and density within the landscape.
The project trains volunteers to identify possums through spotlighting, following the survey methodology developed for the project. Trained volunteers then head out in teams of two to collectively survey across nine 1km transects spread across our landscape. Each survey takes 1hr and each team surveys three different transects within a one month period, four times a year (corresponding with the different seasons). Over time, the data collected through this project when coupled with detailed information about the make up of each transect will greatly improve our understanding of Western ringtail possum habitat within our region. This understanding will then inform better management decisions and outcomes for the species.
Anyone interested in becoming involved in the project should contact Drew McKenzie at [email protected]
Nature Conservation coordinate a yearly possum tally, undertaken in Spring. Taking part in the tally is easy, participants simply choose a site and commit to counting possums on at least 2 nights per week over a 4 week period.
The tally aims to establish a set of suburban monitoring sites where western ringtail possums are counted annually using robust, repeatable methods, to engage the community in citizen science to assist with endangered species conservation and to raise awareness in the community about ringtails and their status
All results are collated and added to the DBCA and ALA database.
The tally has now finished for 2018 but look out for updates on the results of this year’s tally and for news of the 2019 Spring Possum Tally.
Nature Conservation is working in partnership with BirdLife WA and Cape Birds to coordinate the annual Great Cocky Count and ongoing CockyWatch. With the assistance and participation of members of the public (as volunteers) these two activities aim to learn more about the abundance and distribution of the Baudin’s Black-Cockatoo, Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoo and Forest Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo in the Margaret River region (Busselton – Augusta). All three species have declined over the last 50 years or more. The Baudin’s and Carnaby’s Black-Cockatoos are listed as Endangered and the Forest Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo as Vulnerable.
The Great Cocky Count (GCC) takes place on a Sunday evening in early April each year. Volunteers can register with BirdLife WA as a GCC counter during February and March prior to the count. GCC counters are allocated a night-roost site (as close as possible to where they live) to count at and given guidelines for how to conduct the count. People are also able to nominate their own night-roost site if they have a preference. Local coordinator(s) are also available during the summer and early autumn to help coordinate the count locally and to help locate new night-roost sites.
CockyWatch involves more frequent monitoring with the use of ‘transects’ – routes which people travel on (by foot, bicycle or car), surveyed whenever possible throughout the year. Survey forms can be downloaded from the Cockywatch page.