Title

Do Possum (Pseudocheirus occidentalis; Trichosurus vulpecula hypoleucus) Counts Vary with the Time of the Survey?

Document Type

Journal Article

Publisher

Royal Society of Western Australia Inc.

Faculty

Faculty of Business and Law

School

Faculty Office (FBL) / Centre for Ecosystem Management

Comments

This article was originally published as: Thompson, S., & Thompson, G. G. (2011). Do possum (Pseudocheirus occidentalis; Trichosurus vulpecula hypoleucus) counts vary with the time of the survey? Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia, 94(3), 445-448. This is an electronic version of an article published in Thompson, S., & Thompson, G. G. (2011). Do possum (Pseudocheirus occidentalis; Trichosurus vulpecula hypoleucus) counts vary with the time of the survey? Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia, 94(3), 445-448 as published in the print edition of the Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia © 2011 copyright Royal Society of Western Australia Inc. that is available online at: www.rswa.org.au

Abstract

Western Ringtail Possums (Pseudocheirus occidentalis) are listed as conservation significant species with both State and Commonwealth governments. As a consequence any areas proposed for development that potentially support these possums are surveyed to determine their abundance. Here we report a decline in the number of P. occidentalis recorded for successive surveys during the same night suggesting that some individuals either retreat to areas where they are not visible or observer fatigue results in fewer possums being detected. In contrast, there was no difference in the number of Common Brushtail Possums (Trichosurus vulpecula hypoleucus) observed during the same surveys. This finding has important consequences for environmental consultants or researchers that are undertaking multiple surveys during a night to record local population sizes for Western Ringtail Possums in Western Australia.

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