GeoCatch has completed the 2022 Western Ringtail Possum Tally, with citizen scientists reporting possum sightings in their gardens and backyards across Busselton and Dunsborough over four weeks. The annual tally aims to improve knowledge and awareness of critically endangered western ringtail possums living in urban areas.
The results are shared across the wider community and recorded on the WA Threatened Species Database. The information gathered tracks population trends, future planning decisions, and conservation projects.
All participants in the tally go in the draw to win a possum box, hand-made by the Busselton Men’s Shed. The winner of the possum box this year is Steve from Dunsborough. He surveyed for 13 nights in his backyard and recorded three individual western ringtail possums residing there.
Steve’s survey efforts help GeoCatch monitor ringtail numbers over time and show how valuable backyard habitats are to their survival.
“I was happy to assist in the research and look forward to seeing the compilation of the survey results. Hopefully, the numbers are on the rise. We consider ourselves fortunate that we have a garden that provides a suitable environment for possums and can enjoy evening sightings and occasional day sightings,” said Steve.
Since its inception, the tally has expanded beyond the original Geographe Bay Catchment area. Nature Conservation Margaret River, Leschenault Catchment Council, and Wirambi Landcare now run the project with their local communities. South West Catchments Council assists with coordination, making it a truly regional event.
Keep an eye out for this year’s Ringtail Tally results that GeoCatch will share with the community next month.
This project is delivered by GeoCatch through funding from the Australian Government, in partnership with the South West Catchments Council. The project is also supported by the Western Ringtail Action Group (WRAG) and City of Busselton.