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,” Nicole 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,” she said.
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.
Commencing Saturday 9th April until Sunday 8th May, Tally surveys can now be completed online with the Survey123 App, making it easier than ever to get out there and count possums! 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 spreading as far north as Perth and south to Albany.
Get involved at geocatch.asn.au or call 0491 069 078.
This project is delivered by GeoCatch through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program, in partnership with the South West Catchments Council. The project is also supported by the Western Ringtail Action Group (WRAG), City of Busselton and FAWNA.