The Western Ringtail Possum (Pseudocheirus occidentalis) is a critically endangered arboreal marsupial that is only found in South Western Australia. While once widespread from Perth to Albany, this species is now listed as critically endangered. It has been estimated that the remaining population size in the wild is less than 8,000 mature individuals, with a decreasing trend. Recent research predicts there is a 92% likelihood that they will be extinct within 20 years if action to protect populations and their habitat isn’t enacted immediately. This decline has been contributed to habitat loss, degradation, fragmentation, predation by introduced predators (notably foxes and cats), increased resource competition (e.g. hollow competition), and climate change.
The Western Ringtail Possum occurs in the highest densities in coastal zones, where Peppermint trees (Agonis flexuosa) are a dominant species. Smaller populations occur within Jarrah Marri vegetation, including inland populations. Porongurup Range National Park used to be one such populations though has been speculated to have gone locally extinct due to lack of significant number of sightings.
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We acknowledge the Minang Bibbulmun people as the traditional custodians of the land on which we work and live. We pay our respects to the Elders, past, present, and emerging and to the wider Bibbulmun community.