Community Planting Protecting Critically Endangered Possums

The team at SWCC would like to thank volunteers who braved the rain at our community planting days at Manea Park and Treendale Reserve throughout June. Forty-five volunteers from the local community and Bunbury Regional Community College planted over 1,000 seedlings at the reserves to enhance habitat for the critically endangered western ringtail possum.

Areas chosen for planting are adjacent to or between existing remnant vegetation. As the revegetation matures, the canopy will connect with existing habitat and form a safe passage for possums. Bridging areas in between existing habitat in this way gives possums the opportunity to seek refuge in the canopy, where there is less chance of predation by foxes, dogs and cats. The mature revegetation will also provide foraging material and drey-making resources for possums to thrive.

The southwest community can replicate this ‘canopy bridging’ in their own backyards to help conserve their local western ringtail possums. Planting native creepers on the fence such as Hardenbergia comptoniana, Kennedia coccinea and Billardiera fusiformis requires little space in the backyard and can allow for safe passage of possums along fences in the urban landscape. If you are willing to go the extra step, you can attach sturdy branches between existing trees in your backyard (see image below):

Possum Bridge
Possums crossing bridge made with tree prunings

We look forward to hosting more community planting days in future. Keep an eye out for future events in the South West Link and on our Facebook page.

This project is supported by the South West Catchments Council through funding from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation & Attractions and the Australian Government.

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