Call for community to help count critically endangered possums in the Ringtail Tally

I spy: Community members are being called on to count sightings of western ringtail possums between April 9 and May 9. Picture: Supplied.
I spy: Community members are being called on to count sightings of western ringtail possums between April 9 and May 9. Picture: Supplied.

South West community members are being asked to help protect critically endangered western ringtail possums by participating in the annual Ringtail Tally.

The tally needs people of all ages, with all kinds of backyards to count the possums they see between Saturday April 9 and Sunday May 9.

Whether you live on an urban block with a small garden, close to a bushland or reserve, or have a large rural property, you can take part in the tally to build data on where western ringtail possums are found, and how many are left.

The information gained from the tally will be used to look at population trends, future planning decisions and conservation projects, and it becomes more valuable each year the tally is repeated.

Only found in the South West of WA, the western ringtail has been listed as critically endangered by the state and federal government, and is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.

According to GeoCatch, it is estimated that there are less than 8,000 ringtail possums remaining in the wild, after causes like urban development and agriculture reduced their population to less than 10% of its original geographical range.

Now in its eight year, the tally has expanded beyond the Geographe Bay Catchment area where it was originally started.

The event is run by Nature Conservation Margaret River, Leschenault Catchment Council, Wirambi Landcare and Oyster Harbour Catchment Group with their local communities.

Register to participate in the tally by visiting www.swccnrm.org.au/ringtailtally

For more information visit wirambilandcare.org

This year organisers will also trialing an online survey.