Rescue Operation for Nationally Threatened Possums

Field Program
Wildlife translocations

September 2002: Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) and the WA Department of Conservation and Land Management have joined forces to rescue a population of the nationally threatened Western Ringtail Possum.

Thirteen Western Ringtail Possums have been successfully translocated from a site near Busselton to AWC’s Karakamia Sanctuary, 50 kilometres north-east of Perth. The translocation was carried out after the possums were discovered near Busselton in peppermint forest that is to be cleared for development.

Chairman of AWC, Martin Copley, said Karakamia sanctuary would provide a wonderful new home for the threatened Ringtail Possums.

“Karakamia comprises 250 hectares of stunning jarrah forest at the northern end of the Ringtail Possum’s former range. It is surrounded by a feral proof fence, meaning the Possums will be protected from foxes and feral cats.”

The 7 males and 6 female possums join a small population of Western Ringtail Possums that were reintroduced to Karakamia between 1995 and 2001.

Martin Copley said that the Western Ringtail Possum was once common in the forests of south-western Australia but its range and population had declined sharply due to fox predation and clearing of habitat. The Western Ringtail Possum is now listed as threatened under Federal legislation, unlike the Common Ringtail found in Eastern Australia.

“Australian Wildlife Conservancy is seeking to protect Australia’s threatened animals such as the Western Ringtail Possum. At Karakamia, the newly arrived Ringtail Possums will share the forest with Woylies, Quenda (Southern Brown Bandicoot),Numbat, Tammar Wallaby and mainland Quokka.”