Western Ringtail Possum Conservation
Nature Conservation in partnership with the Augusta Margaret River Shire is working to better understanding local ringtail populations, protect local habitats and raise community awareness and engagement in ringtail conservation. Nature Conservation has recently secured funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program through the South West Catchments Council for a five year program to assist conservation of the species. The Augusta Margaret River Shire is providing a local contribution to the conservation program through its Environmental Management Fund.
The current Western ringtail possum conservation program includes:
Surveys to better understand ringtail distribution and habitat requirements – a comprehensive survey of key habitat along the lower reaches of the Margaret River was undertaken in early 2019 to determine priority areas for conservation and habitat enhancement; teams of citizen science volunteers are out and about surveying at 12 locations on the Wadandi Track and in key bushland reserves; and an Annual Possum Tally provides vital information on where possums live in local gardens and properties across the region.
127 surveys were completed across the 12 transects in 2019 and 138 surveys in 2020. 2021 sees the continuation of these quarterly transect surveys.
Habitat enhancement – 2.5 hectares of revegetation with native seedlings will be undertaken over the next 5 years to enhance local western ringtail possum habitats. Volunteers, school groups and local businesses will be encouraged to get involved in planting activities and make a difference to the strategic habitats that support Western ringtail possums.
2Ha of revegetation have been completed so far. All sites are along the Margaret River, adjacent to existing areas of Western ringtail possum habitat. In this way we can build the habitat available for the Western ringtail possum and increase the vegetation buffer currently found along the river.
Community awareness raising and engagement – activities include regular community spotlighting activities in local reserves, community presentations highlighting the conservation status of the Western ringtail possum and citizen science training events.
For more information or to get involved in Western ringtail possum citizen science activities contact Lyndsey Cox at [email protected]