GeoCatch's annual possum tally to start over April school holidays

2020 Tally participant and possum box winner, Rhonda Moor. Picture is supplied.
2020 Tally participant and possum box winner, Rhonda Moor. Picture is supplied.

The annual Ringtail Tally kicks off these April school holidays, highlighting the important role urban backyards play in providing habitat for the critically endangered western ringtail possum.

GeoCatch's Nicole Lincoln says the Tally is a fun way to engage in citizen science in your backyard, local park or school grounds.

"Our backyards and parks have become urban refuges for western ringtail possums," she said.

"With much of their habitat being cleared, they rely on the mature trees and food sources in our backyards.

"The Tally is helping us monitor ringtail numbers over time and has shown just how valuable our backyards are to their survival."

There are estimated to be between 8000 to 20,000 western ringtail possums remaining in the wild, most of which are located right here in the Geographe Bay Catchment.

This area is one of the last strongholds for the species and contains prime habitat - including in our urban backyards.

The information gathered in the tally is used as a reference for population trends, future planning decisions and conservation projects.

The results are also shared with the community as an infographic.

The tally starts on April 9 and the surveys can be done online with the Survey123 App.

Participants are also welcome to complete a written tally sheet if they prefer and can even win a possum box for their efforts.

The tally, first developed by GeoCatch, has been running for eight years and is now a cross-regional event.

To get involved go to geocatch.wa.asn.au or call 0491 069 078.