A cased for in-situ management of Western Ringtail Possums, Pseudocheirus occidentalis, in development areas
Royal Society of Western Australia Inc.
Faculty of Business and Law
School of Marketing, Tourism and Leisure / Centre for Ecosystem Management
The threatened Western Ringtail Possum (Pseudocheirus occidentalis) is relatively abundant in numerous locations on the coastal strip between Bunbury and Dunsborough, Western Australia. But this area is subject to rapid residential development and there is the inevitable conflict between protecting a threatened species and development. We recorded 306 dreys, mostly in Peppermint trees, in the Dunsborough town site. Areas with high concentrations of dreys did not necessarily coincide with where most possums were found foraging. Over six nights 118 P. occidentalis were seen in road side verges, 246 in remnant vegetation and 53 in residential areas, indicating that they are abundant in this highly disturbed habitat. We use these data to discuss potential management options (i.e., no development, do nothing, translocate or in-situmanagement) for new development sites in the region.